Blue Mountain Wildlife’s capital fundraising campaign is called “Soar Higher,” but the wild bird rehabilitation center ended up soaring higher than anticipated.

Beginning in February, the nonprofit asked people to donate money to help improve Blue Mountain Wildlife’s facilities south of Pendleton. Member Linda Wolcott would match each dollar donated up to $25,000.

But Blue Mountain Wildlife announced in a newsletter Sunday that it had exceeded its goal, raising $27,937. Including Wolcott’s match, that means the rehab center has raised nearly $53,000.

Blue Mountain Wildlife will continue raising money through Saturday, but the organization is already turning its mind toward celebrating its success. Fittingly, the nonprofit will celebrate by releasing a red-tailed hawk at Wild Birds Unlimited in Richland, Washington, on Saturday.

The newsletter states that the proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward new display pens for its “ambassador birds,” permanent residents at the rehab center who are used for educational purposes, a move that will open up four flight pens for birds on the mend.

Ultimately, Blue Mountain Wildlife hopes that “Soar Higher” will be a part of a larger fundraising drive that will help the nonprofit add a new wildlife hospital, indoor and outdoor classrooms, caretaker housing, and intern housing.

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