Stella and Sophie sing for MARS

In an effort to help Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS)’s fundraising campaign soar to new heights, a Comox songstress is collaborating with her feathered friends to help fund their new home.

Nine-year-old Comox singer/songwriter Stella Swanson along with her sister Sophie created a song specifically for the organization, entitled Soaring Free, with help from award-winning Valley musician Helen Austin.

Monday, the sisters, along with the MARS ambassadors Scarlett and Sawyer, helped the pair with a video shoot to accompany the song.

“(Stella) has donated her I’m Not a Bunny iTunes sales to MARS and we all thought it would be great to create a song for (them),” explained mom Karen Pantuso Swanson.

“Stella has a strong connection with birds and she loves the work that MARS does, so she wants to support them in every way that she can.”

The organization’s manager Maj Birch said Stella is “an amazing child with a great voice and a perfect personality,” and was more than happy to have two owls accompany the girls during the shoot.

Recently, MARS purchased a 10.4-acre piece of property thanks to a bequest on the Old Island Highway in Merville.

Birch noted while they have the bare land for a new facility, they are currently raising funds through crowd funding to raise money for the animal hospital, along with infrastructure and the move itself.

“There’s no electricity, no piping and we need a septic system. It’s a huge undertaking,” she said and added their goal is $350,000.

“We’re hoping for some in-kind donations, and we’re calling on lots of folks all across North Vancouver Island.”

Within just a few days since launching the campaign, Birch noted they’ve raised $4,000 and added while their goal is to provide the minimum standard of care for their patients, they “are dreaming to have a green building with solar panels, but we realize that adds significant money.”

For more information on the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society or to donate, visit wingtips.org.