Campaign Announcement Punctuated By Eagle Release

Carolina Raptor Center made a major campaign announcement and released its most recent Bald Eagle patient on Thursday, April 6 at 10 am at the Swimming Beach at Lake Norman State Park in Troutman, NC.

On March 17, Carolina Raptor Center received word that the organization was the recipient of a $250,000 challenge grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to help complete the "Our Quest" Campaign. To complete the challenge, Carolina Raptor Center must raise an additional $1.4 million before December 1, 2017. This will complete the $10.6 million in funding needed to build the new Quest campus and renovate the Raptor Medical Center.

"The Leon Levine Foundation joins the Duke Energy Foundation among the largest donors to Our Quest Campaign," said Executive Director Jim Warren. "This new partnership gives the fundraising team significant incentive to complete the campaign before the end of the year."

"We are excited to support the Carolina Raptor Center and its 'Our Quest' Campaign," said Tom Lawrence, executive director of The Leon Levine Foundation. "Already a unique organization nationally, we feel strongly that Carolina Raptor Center, in partnership with Mecklenburg County, is creating a new must-visit destination that significantly adds to cultural life in the Charlotte region."

Eagle nesting, research, formal education development and rehabilitation efforts at Carolina Raptor Center are supported in part by an Environmental program grant from Duke Energy Foundation. The Duke Energy Foundation has also made a $400,000 gift to Our Quest Campaign.

Senior Medical Coordinator Mathias Engelmann, a 34-year veteran of CRC, prepares the eagle "Norman" for release. (Jane Campbell)

"We're investing now to protect and restore the wildlife and natural resources that our communities, and future generations, will depend on," said Jennifer DeWitt, director of programs and community affairs for Duke Energy Foundation. "The ability to have a positive impact on both the Bald Eagle population and a generation of North Carolina students is why we are thrilled to support the Carolina Raptor Center."

CRC provides vital STEM education to children and adults across the region through its formal and informal education programs. Each year, more than 40,000 visitors walk our Raptor Trail and almost 27,000 students participate in formal STEM education programs. At its new campus, visitation is poised to increase to more than 100,000 people annually. It is this increase in impact that has attracted many local philanthropists to support Our Quest, including The Leon Levine Foundation, but more funding is needed to meet the December 1 challenge.

The eagle (patient #20432) has been with Carolina Raptor Center for just two weeks (Admitted on March 21, 2017). The full medical records can be found online at, where you can search by patient number. The bird was rescued from a residential back yard in Mooresville when the owners noticed the bird on the ground seemingly unable to fly. Carolina Raptor Center transporter and wildlife rehabilitator Sandy Hagen, retrieved, stabilized and transported the patient to Carolina Raptor Center for treatment. Upon admission, the bird was still unable to fly, but did not exhibit any other identifiable symptoms. 20432 began to fly after a week of treatment and was approved for release on Thursday, March 30.