A grateful thank-you to Mr. and Mrs. Bill
By Bert Raynes, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: September 12, 2012
Worn out by all the requests for donations so that qualified recipients can receive matching funds from Old Bill’s Fun Run?
Too many letters, too many postal cards? Up to here with advertisements?
But wait! Don’t despair. Help is here. If you want to donate to the Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund — or any of the other 199 nonprofits — there is time if you act now. You must have your contribution in the physical hands of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole (245 E. Simpson) or in the post office box (P.O. Box 574, Jackson, WY 83001) or in the Internet coffers at OldBills.org by 5 p.m. Friday. Notice: Mail must be physically in their box by 5 p.m., not just postmarked by then.
The purpose of the Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund is, simply, to help keep our wildlife abundant and wild. To reach out to everyone in our community who is interested in wild animals we live among. To train citizen scientists. To support and augment projects or activities devoted to research, education, habitat protection and restoration.
Examples: The MBRWF initiated and continues to support Nature Mapping Jackson Hole with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation. The fund has participated in an ongoing pioneering research study in our region on a Cornell University Laboratory ornithology student’s doctoral thesis. The fund initiated or helped establish a Gros Ventre Mountain project looking at pronghorn, elk and associated animals and how they react to early spring road openings for vehicular traffic. An annual ground count of moose is made each spring on behalf of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. An ongoing project is the Backyard Birds Project, which accumulates data on birds seen in human-occupied habitats. An osprey nest census. And more.
The MBRWF is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and is also non-overhead. It is entirely volunteer. Please help.
But wait! You must act now! Friday means this Friday — three days including today, Wednesday.
If you make the deadline, your contribution will be matched, perhaps even doubled! You must act now! Please make your check out to the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole and designate it to the Meg and Bert Wildlife Fund.
Of course, should you have already donated, we thank you profusely. Should you miss the community foundation’s deadline, you can always donate to the MBRWF any time you get the urge to.
Now, back to our regular programming.
I do not know whether Mr. or Mrs. Old Bill actually ran Saturday in the actual Old Bill’s Fun Run; they keep a low profile. Whatever the case, they sure are front runners and winners in the philanthropic marathon.
In the past 15 years, Mr. and Mrs. Old Bill have donated $8.5 million of their own in matching grants to local nonprofits. With their great generosity, and now with the cooperation of Co-Challengers and Friends of the Match, Old Bill’s Fun Run has raised more than $82.5 million for local causes, matching the donations from thousands of residents. Of course, the role of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has been, and is, essential.
It’s beyond my ability to express adequately the debt the Jackson Hole community owes to Mr. and Mrs. Old Bill. I hope this grand couple is satisfied that the response to a perceived need has exceeded their wildest expectations.
Gentleman and lady, thank you. Sincere congratulations to everyone else.
Field notes: Variably smoky skies. Depends on prevailing wind direction. Doubtless will be around until rain or snow extinguishes forest fires in the West. It’s after Labor Day, so perhaps the fires will be snuffed out soon. Note: This was written before the Little Horsethief Canyon Fire erupted.
Summer 2012 was, by all reports, a good season for rodents in the region. By “good” is meant that there were and are lots of them, lots even now that ground squirrels have gone into hibernation. For a first, I have a family of chipmunks in the back.
Fall bird migration is on. No predicting where or when some bird or birds might show up. Warblers, sparrows, grosbeaks, pine siskins, green-tailed towhees, robins, kildeer. Terry Amrein reported a surprising seven turkey vultures flying down the Gros Ventre Kelly Road on Sept. 6.
A reminder: Often enough a late migrant hummingbird may come your way, even into early October. Take your feeders in overnight, for a cold drink on a frosty morning is tough on a tiny hummer. And mind those bears, too.
© Bert Raynes 2012
Bert Raynes writes every week on whatever suits his fancy with a dash of news on nature and its many ways.