2017 Year in Review: Kristen Sluiter, Special Projects Coordinator

It’s time to look back on 2017! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2017 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

One of my favorite memories from this year was from our Jack Hanna event at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville this past spring.  The event was lovely and we all had a great time seeing our supporters, eating good food, and hanging out with some of the Wildlife Center’s animal ambassadors before Jack Hanna’s program began.  However, my absolute favorite part of the day was after our reception, when our guests had gone in to see the show. 

A few of us staff members were still in the reception area, waiting to pack up.  Amanda and Maggie the Peregrine Falcon were still there, as well as Raina and Buddy the Bald Eagle.  There was a different group holding a reception in the room next to ours.  They had to pass by our room to get to the show.  As some of them were leaving, they noticed our birds and a small crowd gathered around.  I had the privilege of watching as people who were completely unfamiliar with the Wildlife Center had an up-close encounter with some of nature’s coolest birds.  You could almost touch their excitement and awe.  I listened as some of the children asked questions and Amanda and Raina answered them.  Their responses brought a tear to my eye.  Not only were the answers educational and informative, but they were perfect for a child to understand.  I am certain that that entire group walked away with a little more knowledge and respect for some of our feathered friends. 


I have to say, you never quite take for granted getting to work with and near such talented people and animals, but sometimes it’s easy to forget a bit as you get into the daily routine of your job.  This day was an awesome reminder of just how extraordinary this organization is, and how good my colleagues are at their jobs.

Check out all of our year-in-review posts!