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RVers from “A Year to Volunteer” help maintain a raptor rescue in Antigo

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 8:53 PM CDT
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ANTIGO, Wis. (WSAW) - Forty-two volunteers from “A Year to Volunteer” road-tripped from across the county to REGI, a raptor rescue and education facility in Antigo.

They came to help maintain it. The volunteers are from all walks of life, but most are retired. Coordinators of the group told Newschannel 7 that some are retired military, teachers, and lawyers.

“It has been a really difficult couple of years and we haven’t gotten a lot of volunteers through COVID and those sorts of things,” Marge Gibson, Founder and Executive Director of Raptor Education Group.

The wildlife and rehabilitation facility has had a major patient increase with more 300 raptors including 33 bald eagles.

With a shortage of volunteers during the pandemic, taking care of the animals has been challenging by itself, much less maintaining the facility.

“We don’t have any volunteers and to have 43 very capable people you know suddenly walk up and say I want to help it’s just something I can’t describe,” said Gibson.

They are doing much-needed work, from painting, landscaping and building. Tuesday they took on a lofty task.

“They’re actually building a passerine building for us that was really needed,” said Gibson.

While this may seem like a large task itself, it’s actually part of an even larger plan.

“We’re going to all 50 states and volunteering in each one. We are an RV-centric volunteer program where different people at each project come and join us,” Sharpen Roos, Co-Founder of “A Year to Volunteer.”

This was their 12th state and their 16th project already. They started in February of 2020 and they anticipate it will take a few more years to reach their goal.

“They’re having such a good time we never tell them how hard to work, how long to work, they all take it on themselves they build their own passion,” said Phil Roos, Co-Founder of “A Year to Volunteer.”

Phil told me they are so excited to be helping such an important cause. They’ll be at Regi through Friday and then they will be back on the road and headed to Oklahoma for a new project.

If you would like to find out more about “A Year to Volunteer” or if you would like to help out at Regi click here.

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