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Wednesday evening, January 18th, 2017, brought 32 members, guests and family to Alioto’s Restaurant for our monthly program. Especially welcome were two students from MSOE, Zachary Sopata and Dennis Biesiada, and, a student from UW-Madison, Jordan Black, our ASME regional liaison. In addition, Liam Coen, GE, brought 5 students wearing their “Animal Allies” T shirts of the Lego Robotic Team (see photo 2nd row left). They attend Saint Peter’s School in East Troy.
Students, members and guests with Brandon and Alyssa (front row).
Speakers were Alyssa and Brandon Herbst, owners of Autumn Farm Sanctuary, an animal rescue facility located east of Cedarburg. These charismatic caretakers of almost 100 animals are most noted for their appeal on behalf of Phillip the Duck. Phillip, who has appeared on Good Morning America and in newspaper articles, lost both feet to frostbite. His first feet were unfortunately outgrown—thus the appeal to engineers in ASME for a workable and comfortable alternative.
After hearing about Phillip’s needs and viewing a video, member enthusiasm ran high. Ideas and questions were flying as fast Phillip’s beating wings and a sign-up list of people willing to help filled quickly.
For those interested in Autumn Farm Sanctuary, it will soon have 501 (c) 3 non-profit status making any donation tax deductible. The farm will be open to visitors by appointment the first Saturday of each month. Anyone interested may call 262-376-3833 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to verify time and availability of spots.
Begun in 2008, Alyssa and Brandon originally rescued companion animals such as dogs and cats. They now specialize in farm animals in need. Due to their program of re-adopting animals out when possible and trading with other sanctuaries for their population may include horses, goats, sheep and many species of fowl, currently hens, turkeys, geese and of course Phillip and friends. Most of the animal residents were rescued from hoarders, farm owners who became ill, or were found sick, injured or in abusive situations.
Since Brandon and Alyssa both work full time, they are especially grateful to their 40 dedicated volunteers, or, as one ASME member quipped, “The things we do for ducks”.
Design and manufacture of new prosthetic feet is ongoing with version 2.0 currently under testing. Our group will be updated at our next monthly meeting. Hope to see you all there.