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Sandy Pines ready to host second annual virtual baby shower

Baby squirrels being fed by bottle at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre. Still from Sandy Pines Spring Baby Shower preview. View full video here.

Staff with the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee are hard at work putting the finishing touches on this weekend’s annual Spring Baby Shower, the organization’s largest fundraiser. 

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will once again be held virtually. That means they’ll be hard-pressed to get the usual amount of donations they normally would, when more than a thousand people packed into the grounds for tours and activities during the in-person event.

“We’re still hoping to get people that same experience to a certain degree with live-feeds and recorded videos, we’re still able to get them that inside view,” Leah Birmingham said. 

In the absence of in-person tours, a series of behind-the-scenes videos have been filmed and will be shared on the organization’s Facebook page closer to the weekend. 

“I’ll walk around and take people through the rooms while the different feedings are happening,” Birmingham said. “So they’ll get a sense of the chaos that ensues when you have hundreds of squirrels and raccoons that all want to be fed at the same time.”

One of the challenges organizers faced in their first try at a virtual event was not being able to secure as many donations. Birmingham said last year’s event saw a drop-off in donations of about 50 per cent. They’re hopeful that the second go-around will be much more fruitful. 

“Oh definitely, it is less.” Birmingham said. “Previous years, it would make up to 20-25 thousand dollars for us.”

They also saw a drop off in donated items such as toilet paper and laundry detergent, which goes a long way for them as well. More information on donating to Sandy Pines is available here. To find out which items Sandy Pines Wildlife centre is in need of, such as small cosmetics jars, towels, and brushes, follow them on Facebook.

The event will take place from Friday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10, 2021. A link to the live feeds will be available at www.sandypinesbabyshower.com.

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