AWC hosts Holiday Craft and Bake Sale

Pam Allen, Stephanie Hill and Arthur, a merlin and one of the AWC's educational birds, at the AWC Holiday Craft and Bake Sale at Veterans Park on Dec. 13. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Pam Allen, Stephanie Hill and Arthur, a merlin and one of the AWC’s educational birds, at the AWC Holiday Craft and Bake Sale at Veterans Park on Dec. 13. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—Shoppers took advantage of a sunny Saturday to browse handmade goods and meet Alabama’s native raptors at the Alabama Wildlife Center’s annual Holiday Craft and Bake Sale in Veterans Park on Dec. 13.

“It’s been great with this good weather, this beautiful day has helped,” event organized David Allen said, noting a strong attendance turnout at the fundraising event.

The craft and bake sale featured “handcrafted items with an outdoor theme,” along with “homemade, fresh baked” treats, Allen said. While adults shopped, children could get their picture taken with Santa or make crafts to take home, such as a pinecone bird feeder.

“The whole gang” of educational birds from the AWC and BR-1, the first baby bird patient the AWC took in during baby bird season, were on hand to meet and take pictures with shoppers, AWC Executive Director Doug Adair said.

Throughout the day, AWC volunteers and the educational birds presented a special Birds of Prey program to introduce attendees to the area’s native raptors.

“It was a really fun event,” Adair said. “We’re blessed with an amazing group of volunteers that put in a tremendous amount of work putting this together.”

The Holiday Craft and Bake Sale is a nearly 20-year tradition at the AWC, Allen said, and it is also one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers.

“An event like this is so important to us because the money allows us to fulfill our mission,” Adair said. “The operational costs of the AWC are met through events such as the Craft and Bake Sale.”

The AWC is a nonprofit organization that treats nearly 2,000 birds from more than 100 species each year. The AWC maintains Treetop Nature Trail in Oak Mountain State Park and presents educational programs to schools.

Adair said the AWC is also looking to upgrade the exhibits and “public areas” at the headquarters in Oak Mountain State Park.

Donations and money raised during events such as the Holiday Craft and Bake Sale are the organization’s main source of funding.

“This is a big fundraiser for us,” Adair said. “There’s a social aspect of this event that’s very fun.”