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Statement from IWRA Executive Director
Joann Van Aken:
15th Annnual Benefit Dinner Cancelled

Dear Friends of IWRA,
On behalf of the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance (IWRA), thank you for registering for our 15th Annual Benefit Dinner that was originally scheduled to be held May 2, 2020 in Wyandotte, MI. Throughout the spring and summer, IWRA had hopes of rescheduling the event to a date later in 2020, but it is now clear that this cannot happen without sacrificing the safety of our friends and guests. We look forward to celebrating with you at the next Annual Benefit Dinner late in the Spring of 2021. Presold raffle tickets for the CASH GALORE Raffle will now be honored in IWRA’s End of Summer drawing on August 25.
While our office has been closed, IWRA staff and board have been working remotely, finding new ways to support the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in their mission of conservation and management of wildlife habitat. We have secured grant funding for biological technicians to continue invasive species management, provided support for two interns, and are busy exploring and planning virtual outreach activities.
Cancelling IWRA’s biggest fundraiser of the year creates several challenges for the sustainability of our organization and ability to best support the Refuge. It is with deep respect and humility that we ask for consideration of your reservation payment as a donation to IWRA for 2020.  Might we suggest you take a look at the link: 501c3.org/the-cares-act-increases-donation-tax-deductibility/ to learn more on the current CARES Act.
An entry into a special raffle during the 2021 Annual Benefit Dinner, as well as special recognition in the next WILDSIDE newsletter, will be given for those who choose to forgo a refund. We understand that this may not be possible for everyone, so please contact Joann Van Aken at (734)-755-0490 to discuss alternative options. Your support is very much appreciated.  We look forward to the future with you, because of you.  
The International Wildlife Refuge Alliance is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization (#20-3318708) dedicated to helping the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service deliver the mission of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, North America’s first international wildlife refuge – working through partnerships to protect, conserve, and manage the Refuge’s wildlife and habitats; and to create exceptional conservation, recreational, and educational experiences, to develop the next generation of conservation stewards, thanks to you!
Warmest Regards,
Joann Van Aken, Executive Director
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