HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Monday, October 14, 2013


This is a photograph of Patty Stangel, The St. Frances of Asissi of the Chippewa Valley, holding one of her many children. Patty, who has had several successful careers in her lifetime, is now doing the work that I think she was put on this earth to do: Minister to God's wild creatures who are in need of rehabilitation.

Patty first became interested in working with the sick and injured as a volunteer for the refuge that was originally between Eau Claire and Fall Creek, just off Highway 12 East. When the owners had health problems of their own and could no longer continue, Patty decided that she would take on the mantel of responsibility.

Her first step was to sell her Hamilton Avenue, Eau Claire, house and property. At the same time, she co-ordinated the purchase of a rustic house way out in the country, between Colfax and Menomonie. It is the perfect location for her work as not only does it have a walk out basement where she can store supplies and possibly the cages of some of her smaller charges, but there is also a large machine shed for more cages that will house her bigger animals in need.

In addition to owls, she has cared for rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, various hawks, and quite recently the most exotic patient, an emaciated baby lynx - also known as a bob cat. When the cat was first turned in, it was close to death by starvation as it had obviously been separated from its mother.

Immediately, Patty began working slowly and methodically to bring it back to health, feeding it milk with an eye dropper, and as it grew stronger, bits of cut up raw meat.

When the cat was somewhat stronger, Patty loaded it up in a cage and drove it in to see the veterinarian for shots and a physical examination. The veterinarian, of course, was very surprised to have this wild creature brought in for shots. He told Patty that in all his years of being a veterinarian, this was his first bob cat. Patty told him that it was her first, also.

She returned home, cat in tow, with instructions from the vet to give the animal deworming tablets every day By then the cat was growing stronger and bigger from Patty's good care. This made the "wild" in the animal become more prevalent and Patty found that giving it the daily deworming pill was starting to be a real challenge. she would don her heavy duty glove - the one she wears when dealing with the talons of hawks and other raptors - and when the cat would make that typical cat "hissing" sound, she would quickly pop the pill in its mouth and get it down the throat.

One day the cat proved that there was nothing wrong with its fangs. It bit right through the heavy duty glove and into Patty's arm! Patty was able to release the animal recently and I believe she said it was released in a large wooded area near Augusta. She told me that yes, it was her first bob cat and she hoped it would be her last!

Late this past summer I asked Patty what I could do to help her with the mounting accrued bills. together we decided to hold a silent auction/free music party to raise much needed funding.

While Patty began rounding up items for the silent auction, I began rounding up musicians that I know to get them to volunteer their time for a good cause. The response was truly overwhelming. Here are some of the musicians that gave of themselves on that beautiful sunday afternoon at the Maple Lounge, following the 22-9 Packer victory over the Detroit Lions: Catya Von Karolyi, Mike Schlenker, Jerry Way, David Barneson, Tom Wieseler, Tim Keilholtz, Mike Richson, Ed Trienen, David Engedal, Duffy Duyfhuizen, John Utphall, and Billy Krause.

If I missed anybody, please let me know! Almost to a man, all the musicians told me that they had a ball and asked if and when we would be having another fund raiser for Patty.

Patty told me that she had hoped to raise a thousand dollars with the event. The final tally? Two thousand three hundred dollars!!

And there is going to be another one! I will be the planner again and I think it will be sometime in March, after Super Bowl and other distractions are not in the way. I have already thought of musicians that I missed getting an invite to last time. Also, through Facebook postings, I already have had two wonderful people offer items for the silent auction.

Somebody cue "In the Arms of an Angel" by Sarah McLaughlin!



Dan the MAN said...

For the next fundraiser, I'd like to produce a television PSA for more publicity ... I know we can raise even more next time!

Dan the MAN said...

For the next fundraiser, I'd like to produce a television PSA for more publicity ... I know we can raise even more next time!

Dan the MAN said...

Not sure why my post is showing up as Dan the MAN instead of Jim Zons ... but oh well!