Larry Himmel Foundation to donate $5,000 to Free Flight at fundraising event

The Larry Himmel Foundation will present a $5,000 check to Free Flight bird sanctuary in Del Mar on Feb. 26 at “Larry Himmel Day,” a fundraising event.

During the two-hour event, from noon to 2 p.m., guests are invited to meet Free Flight’s 50 parrots, as well as a canary and African Crowned Crane, while donating toward veterinary costs for the birds.

Estimated costs for veterinary care for each bird are about $300 per year, said Mary Struble, executive director and board president of Free Flight.

She said the nonprofit is an open-air sanctuary for birds, where people can drop off birds that have “outlived their welcome,” as well as learn about the animals.

“Over time, since birds live so long, we realized that we needed to become more of a place where people could bring their birds back because birds can outlive their welcome,” Struble said. “There’s really no other place like that.”

Miles Himmel, who founded The Larry Himmel Foundation after his father, Larry Himmel, passed away in 2014, said the group regularly gives back to San Diego-based businesses and charities.

His father, who had a regular show on CBS 8 highlighting noteworthy places in the county, profiled Free Flight on multiple occasions, Miles said.

“We had someone reach out from Free Flight, and they showed me a story of my dad from about 12 to 13 years ago,” he said. “When we saw the tie with the story, we thought it would be such a cool event.”

One of Larry Himmel’s segments on Free Flight will be shown at the event.

Admission to the event, at 2132 Jimmy Durante Blvd., is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. It is free to Larry Himmel Foundation donors.

Donations can be made at www.larryhimmelfoundation.org/freeflight. For more information on Free Flight visit www.freeflightbirds.org. Free Flight is located at 2132 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 92014

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