Gerry and our 3 other rescued turkeys - Jack, Jill, and Janet - are thankful for compassionate people who chose to leave animals off their plate this Thanksgiving weekend. (Photo submitted)

Fundraising for RASTA focuses on a new barn for the animals

Saturday event aims for 10 per cent of the total required or $10,000

The goal for Saturday’s fourth annual Dixie for RASTA fundraiser at the Chemainus United Church is $10,000.

The Rescue and Sanctuary for Threatened Animals (RASTA) site at 9233 Chemainus Rd. is in desperate need of a new barn for the animals and hitting that target would account for about 10 per cent of what’s needed, according to founder Lucie Cerny.

“The old rotting structure that’s here is beyond repair as it has no foundation and is literally rotting into the ground,” noted Cerny. “The barn we hope to build is a two-storey structure with an upper hay loft, box stalls, secure feed room and proper medical treatment room as well as a quarantine area for new animals.”

She currently stores all of the animal feed on pallets in the basement of her adjacent home.

“We’ve consulted with a number of experts and were told that the cost of removing the old structure, cutting down some 100-foot trees, pulling stumps, preparing the site, installing drainage, foundation, plumbing, electrical and building the new barn will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $100,000,” added Cerny.

“This is the largest expense that we’ve ever faced as a sanctuary and thus we planned to do some serious fundraising for it. It was our plan to set up a Go Fund Me page, our first one ever despite being in operation for nearly 20 years, and go all in for this massive project but just when we started to plan to do so we were contacted by a lady in Vancouver who offered to donate a barn.”

Unfortunately, the donation never came to fruition. The full story is on the RASTA Sanctuary Facebook page.

“Fortunately however, we never tore down our old barn which would have left us in an even worse situation,” pointed out Cerny. “As crummy as our old barn is, it’s the only thing we have and we hope that it will last one more winter until we’re hopefully able to finally replace it with a new one next summer.

“The good news is throughout this summer’s many fundraising events we’ve managed to raise $5,000 towards the barn which was most generously matched by another $5,000 anonymous donation.”

If successful at hitting the $10,000 mark for Saturday’s event that will push the total to 20 per cent of the goal.

Admission to Dixie For RASTA Saturday is by donation. It will feature the Free Radical Dixies Band, a vegan bake sale, silent auction and more. The event takes place from 4-7 p.m.

Anyone can make a donation toward the barn building fund through the organization website at www.RastaRescue.org. All donations are tax deductible because the RASTA Sanctuary is a federally-registered Canadian charity.

One of the other ways to support the sanctuary is to become a monthly sponsor, according to Cerny, that can also be done through the website and all donations are tax deductible.

There are currently nearly 70 animals of various species that have a caring home at the sanctuary.

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