Editor Note: Up We Go



Back in 2006 I drove the long and winding road to Weston’s Wildlife in Crisis. On my way, I got lost more than once and had to turn my car around, one time on a bend in the road (probably not a smart move). When I finally arrived, a sign indicated that visitors should park at the bottom of the cul-de-sac and walk up the driveway. Of course, I was wearing heels, and the long, curving steep hill quickly seemed like an endless trek. A couple of times, a car drove down, requiring me to shove over into the bushes. It was touch and go with my more altruistic nature.

Of course, and I should have known, what did any of that matter when I arrived at the animal rescue center? At the top, in a small clearing of a densely wooded area, I saw a row of outdoor pens and a rustic animal care center. Inside, I found raccoons, owls, and all types of woodland creatures on the mend. If they couldn’t be healed and returned to the wild, I learned, the injured animals would find a new home at the center.

I also shook hands with the hard-working volunteers who prep medicine for injured fawns and food for young, vulnerable possums. During my visit, a mom and her two young sons brought in an injured bird. Dara Reid, the founder of the center, thanked the boys for taking care of it and said she would help. Cynicism evaporates here. One is nothing but inspired by the kindness and selfless hard work. This is roll-up-your-sleeves dedication. And done without a lot of money.

Such is the calling of nonprofit work. The volunteers and staff are compelled to respond to a need, from environmental protection to children’s safety and well-being to community building. In this issue, we honor not only Dara Reid but also other local champions of worthy causes. Enjoy the read, and please join us for the awards ceremony on November 4.

Our profiles cover a few of the very good people who are working hard to make a difference. Unfailingly, each of them told us that his or her life is richer for the commitment and the connections. At first, the effort can seem daunting—not unlike a winding, uphill walk—but what surprises await us.

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