Ron Johnson is holding a Memorial Day weekend of barbecue, music and movies to help his feathered friends of flight.
Johnson, who has operated Feathered Friends Forever Rescue Refuge for nearly a decade, is offering the sixth annual open house and barbecue event beginning at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the refuge at 612 Byrd Road in Harlem.
The eight-acre sanctuary for tropical birds, including 17 bird flights and nearly 800 birds, will be open to the public.
Johnson said he expects supporters of the sanctuary from all over the country to attend the fundraiser.
Tickets cost $10 each and include all-you-can-eat barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs and all the trimmings.
Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets for family-friendly movies under the stars Saturday evening.
All proceeds will go toward support of the nonprofit rescue, which accepts sick, unwanted or unadoptable tropical birds.
"We have all tropical parrots, everything from finches through macaws," Johnson said. He said his rescue is the largest for tropical birds nationwide.
About 90 percent of the nearly 800 birds in the sanctuary are permanent residents, deemed unadoptable for medical or behavioral reasons.
"We're up to 1,600 to 1,800 pounds of feed a month," Johnson said, but that doesn't count the extra few hundred pounds of fresh fruit he purchases wholesale to feed the birds.
Johnson's sanctuary is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
The open house and barbecue will include free wing and nail trimmings for birds, in addition to a deejay, raffles and door prizes. Camp sites also are available.
Johnson said donations will be accepted. Feathered Friends also is looking for volunteers to help feed, clean and play with the birds and maintain the sanctuary grounds.
For more information, contact Johnson at (706) 556-2424, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Visit the Feathered Friends online at www.featheredfriendsforever.org.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.