Animal fans near and far watched, with worried eyes, as flames from the recent Sand Fire drew close to the world-famous Wildlife Waystation.
The 160-acre Sylmar animal preserve, which celebrated its first half century of caring for exotic animals as well as a host of beasties in 2015, took action in the face of the fire. On July 23, 2016 volunteers began transporting tigers and lions and other furry residents to safer ground, a replay of the rescue efforts that went down during the 2009 Station Fire.
Comedian and activist Tommy Chong, a supporter of the Wildlife Waystation and of founder Martine Colette's longtime dedication to saving animals of all stripes, is now lending a hand to the roariest spot in Sylmar via a rare nighttime fundraiser.
What to do, where to go and what to see
The upshot? Purchase a raffle ticket — the donation is $10 for one — and see if you win a spot on the Saturday, Aug. 27 tour of the preserve. It's an evening event, do note, which is an unusual happening for the Wildlife Waystation, and "dinner under the stars & a private VIP tour" are included.
Eight grand prize winners of "A Wild Night Out with Tommy Chong" will be selected at an Aug. 20 drawing, and, for sure, each winner may invite a guest along (just make sure they're age 18 or older).
You'll get a chance to meet Mr. Chong, if you're selected, but even if you don't get the grand prize call, there's a second prize category that includes an afternoon meet-and-greet with the comedy legend.
"All proceeds benefit the animals and mission of the Wildlife Waystation," says a representative, so know that your tenner, or fifty bucks (which nets you six raffle tickets), will aid the big cats and pretty birds and the hundreds of other denizens in their day-to-day lives.
And cheers to Mr. Chong for standing tall for the critters of the Sylmar rescue haven, and just a few weeks after their dramatic exit, and return. It's a positive note to end the summer on, a fundraiser, and one that will help the animals for years to come.