Call to rescue

By EMMA CORNFORD

ONE of the Clarence Valley's biggest fundraising efforts, the Wildlife Information and Rescue Service (WIRES) annual garage sale, may not go ahead at Easter.

The sale, attended by thousands, is in jeopardy because a suitable storage venue for donated items cannot be found.

WIRES garage sale co-ordinator Barbara Clay said a storage shed traditionally used had been rented by the owner to someone else. WIRES was left with thousands of items for sale but nowhere to house them.

"Basically we're shedless (and) if there's nowhere for us to store our stuff then we can't have the sale," Ms Clay said.

"All of our garages are already full and our verandahs are filling up too, so we're desperately looking for someone out there who has a shed we could use just to put all the things into."

As the only major fundraiser for the service and without any government funding, WIRES relies on the annual garage sale to keep the organisation running.

Ms Clay said the sale usually raised around $14,000 which went towards pens, aviaries and food for rescued animals and birds.

"Food is the main thing. At the moment we've got about 40 joeys in our care and we have to feed all of them.

'The birds don't just eat birdseed but mince and insects and some of them eat fruit as well," she said.

"A lot of the volunteers are on pensions and that kind of thing so without the money from the sale we would find it hard to be able to care for as many animals as we do."

She said the group was hoping some generous people with empty garages or sheds would be able to come to the rescue.

"A shed anywhere would be great, or even a few garages. We need one in the Grafton area and one around the Maclean area.

"The most important thing is that it's waterproof and if it can be locked that would be good, too. It will only be until Good Friday and then we'll get everything out and clean it all up."

More than 42,500 animals have been rescued by WIRES in the 11 years the service has been operating in the Clarence.

All money raised from the sale, which is held at Gulmarrad Public School, goes towards helping injured animals in the Valley.

The sale features everything from beds, fridges and generators to couches, children's toys, cutlery and crockery ? donated and sold.

Anyone with a empty shed WIRES could use until the sale can contact Mrs Clay on 6645 2509 or Clarence Valley WIRES secretary Michael Byrne on 6645 4664.



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