"This is exciting news to us and greatly appreciated," said ARC executive director Rollo Pool. "The money will cover everything from sutures and pins to medical equipment that will not only help with our clinic and treatment, but also our education program."
Officials for the cruise line were in Sitka last week with their top 100 travel agents from the U.S. and Canada, and they made the announcement in front of the agents and Alaska Raptor Center staff and board members. Holland American also purchased 130 family memberships to ARC for the agents and cruise line employees.
"Holland America Line has been a proud sponsor of the Raptor Center since its inception," said Richard Meadows, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Holland America Line. "We were pleased to be able to 'donate' to the Center's medical wish list on behalf of our top producing agents. And, for me personally, it was an incredible opportunity to release the bald eagle Misty back into the wild after her good care at the Center."
The Alaska Raptor Center has been in operation since 1980. It specializes in Bald eagles but also treats owls, falcons, hawks and other wild birds. The center hosts about 40,000 visitors each year, many from cruise ships, and reaches 10,000 students.