Leslie Kiehl WINC Education Program Fund

History of this Fund

The Leslie Kiehl WINC Education Program Fund was developed in 2015 in honor of Leslie Kiehl, a former Wildlife in Need Center’s (WINC’s) employee.  Leslie was a dear friend of WINC.  She touched the lives of over 100,000 people while providing WINC animal education programs throughout the community.  With great enthusiasm she educated people of all ages about how wild animals live, how we can live with them, and how we can protect them when they are in need of help.  We lost Leslie in April 2015, when she passed away from cancer.

Leslie’s wish was to have a fund available to be used to help small groups pay for the WINC educational program fee if they are not able to afford all or some of this fee.  The WINC Board of Directors quickly agreed this was a great idea to develop as a tribute to Leslie and approved getting it started before Leslie passed away.  It is WINC’s honor to develop the Leslie Kiehl WINC Education Fund in celebration of Leslie’s commitment to and service in wildlife education.

How to Make a Donation to this Fund

Donations and memorials may be made directly to this fund by indicating “Leslie Kiehl WINC Education Program Fund” on the check, donation form, or under the “special instructions” section of our online donation platform (found here)

Additional Information and How to Apply for this Fund

Leslie requested the fund application requests include how the group will “pay it forward” to animals.  The main goal is for groups to take an active part in fostering the environment.

If you are interested in applying for this fund, please complete our application by:

  1. To download and save the application, click on this link:  {Application}
  2. Complete and save the application
  3. Email the completed application to KiehlEdFund@helpingwildlife.org

Applications must be received by the following dates:

  1. November 15th to be considered for January through June of following calendar year
  2. March 1st to be considered for July through December of that calendar year

Applications will be reviewed and approved by a special committee.  Approved applicants will have all or a portion of the WINC education program fee paid for through this fund.  The WINC education program will be provided on a mutually agreed upon date.

Recipients of this fund will be requested to provide:

  1. A brief summary report to WINC that includes how the project was completed, any roadblocks and/or unforeseen outcomes, and the age and number of the people that participated, etc.
  2. Photographs of the project being completed

A Little More about Leslie Kiehl and WINC

Leslie started as an animal care volunteer at WINC in 2001. She was hired as WINC’s Education Coordinator in 2003. In this position, she was instrumental in starting the WINC education program and developing all of the education programs. Our animal ambassadors (education program animals) were nurtured by Leslie so that they were able to develop the trust needed to go out on programs. She provided well over 1,060 WINC education programs. These programs were tailored to the individual needs of different age groups and desired program lengths. Many children sent thank you cards and drawings of these programs to Leslie. They were proudly posted on the walls at WINC. She was also on the local television stations with several of our animal ambassadors.

There are countless other things that Leslie did to help WINC meet its mission and vision. Her bright, positive attitude, smile, and laugh could brighten anyone’s day. She has instilled a love and respect for animals with people from pre-kindergarten through seniors that will be left as her beautiful legacy. Whether you were an acquaintance from seeing a WINC program, a friend, a co-worker, or could recognize her at the grocery store as “the lady with the owl” Leslie’s warm, caring personality made you feel like you were family. WINC was blessed to have Leslie a part of its team. She is deeply missed by everyone she touched. It is our hope that her legacy lives on, in part, through this Fund.