Wildlife Center Staff Attend “Junior Gala” Fundraiser

On June 3, Center staff attended a special “Junior Gala” fundraiser in Crozet hosted by Lois, a six-year-old girl who organized the event to raise money in support of the Wildlife Center.

The idea for the fundraiser started with an email on April 12. Susannah, Lois’s mother, wrote that Lois adores the Wildlife Center and had been donating her weekly allowance to help care for hurt and sick animals. Susannah continued to say that, when they were invited to the Center’s Homecoming Gala, Lois "flipped out with excitement," but unfortunately, would not be able to attend since the event was past her bedtime.

The email ended with a request: Lois asked if she could host her own gala with her friends, classmates, and family to raise money for the Center. Center staff were thrilled about the idea! The outreach team and Lois’s family started planning the details together and by May 3, they set a date & time and Susannah sent out invitations.

Lois’s Junior Gala was wildly successful. In the weeks building up to the event, donations already started pouring in to support the fundraiser, even from those who would be unable to attend. On the evening of the Gala, more than 40 people – including many of Lois’s classmates and friends – showed up to celebrate and participate in wildlife-themed activities. After dinner, attendees crowded around to listen to outreach coordinator Connor present a program with three education animals:

Wilson the Woodland Box Turtle,


Marigold the Virginia Opossum,

and Elliot the Hog-nosed Snake.

As the evening wrapped up, everyone in attendance received a thank-you bag from the Center, but for her hard work putting the fundraiser together, Lois received a special gift. Among the items in her bag was a ticket for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Wildlife Center for Lois and her family and a Maggie the One-Eyed Peregrine Falcon book signed by almost all of the Center’s staff members.


In total, Lois’s Junior Gala raised an incredible $2551.92! This money will help cover the veterinary care and rehabilitation of many of the animals the Center will admit this summer, including opossums, cottontails, squirrels, birds, white-tailed deer fawns, and so many others.

Thank you, Lois, for putting together this wonderful event. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of amazing people like you!