MARS toting a new fundraiser

Tote bags launching Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Black Creek Fall Fair

The owl carryall is one of the new tote bags available.

The owl carryall is one of the new tote bags available.

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society’s (MARS) brand new fundraiser is launching Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Black Creek Fall Fair.

“Raptor, turtles, bears, fawns, sockeye – put wildlife on a functional and fashionable tote bag and you have a fashion statement like no other,” said volunteer co-ordinator Dianne Pollock.

The bags are available in a variety of sizes from a versatile shopping, travel carryall or beach bag, to a dressy bag for a night out, down to the smallest bag for an iPhone. Constructed of PVC coated fibreglass mesh, decorated with fabric images of native animals, birds, and aquatic life and then topped off with some dazzling bling, they are strong, functional and designed for use.

They are competitively priced from $10 to $40 for the largest bag and any size would make a unique and useful gift.

All the bags are made locally in the Comox Valley and Campbell River by dedicated volunteers who saw the need and stepped in with their artistic skills.

“Without these volunteers, this project simply couldn’t have gotten off the ground,” said Pollock. “In fact, MARS would still like to hear from sewers who have a little time to devote to this fundraiser as feedback has been very positive and they expect strong interest.”

MARS has attracted attention recently for being at the centre of a number of abandoned and  orphaned fawns (16, and counting) that they have successfully rehabilitated. The fawns will be released back to their natural habitat by November. While MARS staff and volunteers are extremely pleased with their success, feeding 16 hungry fawns depleted MARS funds and their care is an ongoing cost.

Fundraising is crucial to keeping the doors open at MARS and like many charities, they are getting creative in ways to attract donations.

“It is part of our philosophy that where possible, we want to give back to the donors in some way and the tote bag fundraiser does that,”  said Maj Birch, founder and manager of MARS.

The Black Creek Fall Fair runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 at 2001 Black Creek Road.