Lucas Youth Donates to Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
Madison Mejia, a student at Lovejoy Elementary, celebrated her Golden Birthday (she turned 10 on Nov. 10) this year. To honor this special occasion, Madison celebrated at TopGolf with her friends and, in lieu of gifts, she asked her guests to make donations to Blackland Prairie Raptor Center (BPRC) or SPCA Texas. Her mother, Jodi Mejia, explained that Madison is passionate about helping animals. After going to a raptor center during a vacation, Jodi returned to their home in Lucas and searched for local raptor centers. She was pleasantly surprised to find one “in their own backyard”. BPRC is located at 1625 Brockdale Park Rd., six miles from Lovejoy Elementary. Owls are Madison’s favorite animals. Regarding what she likes about BPRC she said, “They save birds and educate the public about them.” She said she hopes the donations that were amassed via her party will be used to rescue more birds and “educate the public a bit more.” She said, “I don’t need any more gifts. I thought donations would be better.” She encourages others to do the same. She is very pleased that she made this choice. Jodi said, “We've been residents in Lucas for a year (formerly of Murphy) and were recently surprised to learn that such a compassionate group of raptor educators and rehabilitators were so close to us. We'd love to get the word out!”
Erich Neupert, Executive Director of BPRC, said that the funds donated by Madison’s guests will be used exactly as requested and he added that the funds will, “…help patients get well and go back to the wild.” He said, “I think it is so awesome for a ten year old to have this kind of consideration and caring.” Looking into the future and what this type of gift from Madison indicates, Neupert said, “The future is bright for raptors in North Texas. This gift inspires others to care about raptors and SPCA.”
Jodi said that she admires the work that is done at BPRC. “It is incredibly important to educate people on the importance of preservation and the role that raptors play in the environment.” When Madison requested the donations versus gifts, Jodi said, “It touched my heart. I am so incredibly proud that she is putting raptors and animals in front of other desires. She realized that she can touch the lives of these animals.”
Jodi and Madison met with Neupert at BPRC to deliver the cash donation of $175. (Online donations were also made, bringing the total donation to BPRC to $490. Donations to SPCA totaled $115.) Neupert engaged in a casual time of Q&A with Jodi and Madison. He shared specific patient information, such as injuries raptors sustained which resulted in the medical treatment they were given at BPRC. He also told them that 75 baby raptors were put back in their nests this past spring because people knew to call BPRC (469-964-9696) to handle the situation.
Children can also become involved with BPRC by attending educational programs held at BPRC every first Saturday of each month. There are additional public events scheduled. Go to https://bpraptorcenter.org/ for details.