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Christmas fundraiser complete with canines

Shadowland Foundation holds fundraising event Saturday in Lake Hughes to benefit wolf foundation

Posted: December 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.

LAKE HUGHES — Santa Claus traded in his reindeer for wolves Saturday during a fundraising event held at Ranch Freedom in Lake Hughes.

The event, dubbed “Santa’s Winter Wolfland” is an annual fundraiser for the Shadowland Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to spread education and awareness about wolves from its ranch location in Lake Hughes.

“Most people only have a negative association through folklore with the wolf,” said Colette Pondella, one of the foundation’s co-founders. “So we look to change that.”

The ranch is home to a pack of wolves, all of which were on full display to a collection of enthusiastic attendees, even as a cold and steady wind blew through the area, ruffling both hair and fur.

This is the third year the event has been held, Pondella said, and last year about 150 people attended.

Along with the main lupine attractions, the event also offered attendees a look at the ranch, a chance to listen to Native American storytellers and, of course, an opportunity to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

The event is keeping in step with the foundation’s main goal: to teach people that wolves are not the vicious animals that stories like “Little Red Riding Hood” have made them out to be, said Paul Pondella, the foundation’s other co-founder.

“It makes more sense to educate, not eradicate,” he said.
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