"Blue Heron" by seventh grader Logan Randle will be on display at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center during a silent auction to benefit the Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Randle was one of the winners in the Grand County Middle School exhibit. [Courtesy]

Grand County Middle School students will be sharing their art and benefiting the Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation Center all on the same day.

An art exhibit and silent auction will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) on 100 North.

Seventh and eighth grade students from the last school year participated in an art contest organized by the Flock Together Fundraiser, held June 8 to benefit the rehabilitation center run by Debbie Pappas.

“Art teacher Alina Murdock did a great job inspiring these young artists and Second Chance thanks her for that,” said Yrma van der Steenstraeten, one of the organizers of the Flock Together Fundraiser.

She said that because of the high quality of the artwork submitted by the students, the organization decided to have a special exhibit of all 42 pieces with the theme “Bird.”

The winners of the exhibit included Logan Randle, who was in seventh grade, with “Blue Heron” and Cade Gill, who was in eighth grade, with “Saw Whet Owl.”

Both winners will each receive a movie rental pass donated by Sgt. Peppers Music and Video. “Second Chance hopes to meet all students and their friends and family to join this reception at the MARC,” van der Steenstraeten said. “Prizes will be given that evening. Everybody is welcome to come and see the art and celebrate wildlife.”

There will also be a silent auction, because the center can always use funds and we still have nice silent auction items to bid on.

“This is a nice opportunity for those who did not make it to the June 8 event,” van der Steenstraeten said.

There will be photos by Tom Till, Bruce Hucko and National Geographic photographer Keith Cauley, paintings by Cynthia Aldrich, Carolyne Dailey, Robin Straub, Phil Wagner, Yrma van der Steenstraeten and gift certificates.

“All donated by local artists and businesses,” van der Steenstraeten said.

Unfortunately, Debbie Pappas might not be able to attend the exhibit and auction.

“She’s had open heart surgery and complications to deal with, so we all pray for her and hope she will be back on her feet as soon as possible,” van der Steenstraeten said. “Wildlife needs her.”

In the meantime Pappas’ friend and volunteer, Connie Leek Waddell, is taking care of the center and animals in need.

Second Chance Rehabilitation is based in Price, but half of the wildlife that are admitted to the facility are from Grand County. Pappas receives both birds and mammals.

The center receives an average between 300 and 350 patients a year. Most are orthopedic patients and require long-term care. Average stay: seven to ten months.

“Patient numbers are increasing every year. The need is increasing,” Pappas said. “Costs are going up – food, medication.”

Van der Steenstraeten said that she hopes the silent auction can help both Pappas and the widlife she rehabilitates.

“It would be great to help out to take some worries away from Debbie,” van der Steenstraeten said. “The organization hopes people will come and bid on the great items in the silent auction, so Debbie can continue her work and save injured and orphaned wildlife, like the bald eagle, golden eagle, red tail hawk, owls and great blue heron.”