Maple Ridge couple Ingo Hilgefor and Gaby Wichmann (middle

Langley wildlife shelter benefits from walkathon

Raising money and taking a stroll through South Langley will help orphaned or hurt wildlife.

Taking a walk on the wild side on Oct. 4 will go a long way towards helping Langley’s injured and orphaned wild mammals.

The Critter Care Wildlife Society is hosting its seventh annual walk-a-thon. This year’s fundraiser runs from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4 at Campbell Valley Regional Park.

Access to the walk is from the park’s south entrance, off 8th Avenue.

Pledges are being accepted at 10:30 a.m., with the two- or- four kilometre walks getting underway at 11:30 a.m.

For information about the walk-a-thon or to register online, visit www.crittercarewildlife.org/walkathon/.

Organizing the “Walk On The Wild Side” fundraiser is Gaby Wichmann and Ingo Hilgefort, who are closely connected to Critter Care and its facility in South Langley.

The Maple Ridge couple has volunteered with the society for the past 10 years.

In Wichmann’s case, her volunteer duties have varied through the years, from feeding smaller critters such as raccoons or beavers to cleaning cages and sometimes picking up orphaned or injured animals.

Helping put together the walk-a-thon is another facet to her and Hilgefort’s work for the society.

“I’m very intensely involved with organizing the fundraiser and I have been involved with the walk-a-thon since the beginning when we started this event with a small group of volunteers seven years ago,” Wichmann said, adding, “Seven years ago we decided to integrate a new event to help Critter Care Wildlife Society to raise awareness and funds, so that we can continue the work for the native mammals.”

The walk-a-thon is the society’s well-known, local family event and includes a barbecue cooked up by the Langley Lions Club after the walk, and prizes for the top fundraisers.

Participants can invite friends and family members join them in two kilometre and four kilometre walks through the South Langley park.

As well, there will be additional exhibitors by several animal and environmental organizations and local artisans displaying products.

Humans’ four-legged K9-companions are welcome, if they are on leash.

Registration is on now and early birds will save some money.

The registration fee for all participants is: early bird (until Sept. 25), $10 ($5 for those 12 years old and younger).

Registration after Sept. 25 is $15 ($5 for those 12 years old and younger).

All walkers are encouraged to fundraise.

Those who raise $150 or more in pledges will receive a special gift.

New this year is the Wild Team Challenge.

Be a part of the challenge by inviting friends and colleagues, and then register a “wild team” on the Critter Care walk website.

Wichmann said this key fundraiser wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of other committee members volunteers on event day.

Alone for this event, nearly 34 volunteers are helping the walk-a-thon committee – from set up to flipping burgers.

“We are so grateful for the help, support and effort,” Wichmann said. “Without them we wouldn’t have this event.”

For walk-a-thon details, contact Cathy at 604-202-5697 or via email at crittercarewalk@gmail.com.

About Critter Care

Critter Care’s goal is make a difference in the lives of native orphaned and injured mammals.

Every year the number of animals needing help is increasing, so every little bit is important, according to the society.

Wildlife rehabilitation is very expensive. For instance, a black bear cub can eat its way through $5,000 in food during 18 months of care.

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