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Cape Coral Living Magazine

SWFL Children's Book Author Giving Back to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife With Every Book Sale

Dec 06, 2017 10:36AM ● By Kevin
Southwest Florida resident Roseanne Pawelec is launching a new children’s book “Ollie Finds a New Home, The Story of a Burrowing Owl in Cape Coral,” and donating $1 from every copy sold to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife to help protect the Cape’s burrowing owls, according to a recent press release.

The book takes children on a journey with Ollie, a burrowing owl in the Cape, as he and his family search for a new underground home.  The book addresses the trauma of moving for young children and positive life lessons about change.

“The burrowing owls are such a tremendous source of inspiration,” Pawelec said in the release. “So are the volunteers of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife. They go out into the community each and every week to monitor the burrows and to maintain them. I feel privileged to be in a position to help support them.”

Writing has always been a key part of Pawelec's professional life as a former reporter and government public relations professional. It wasn't until her grandchildren were born, however, that she started to think of herself as a storyteller.

The book, which is designed to help the volunteers who are an integral part of Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife's mission to protect the Cape's burrowing owls, is a recreation of Pawelec's original story, which was released in 2015 for Marco Island. She reported the first iteration was a success, in which donations went to Audubon of the Western Everglades during those fundraising efforts.

"It was gratifying to see how the donations made a difference," she said. "I created a Cape Coral version of 'Ollie Finds a New Home' with the same goal."

The burrowing owl population in Cape Coral is the largest in Florida, and may be the largest of the Florida species (Athene cunicularia) in the world. A June 2017 survey in Cape Coral by over a hundred volunteers put the population at 3,799 burrowing owls, a number far greater than previously thought.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has classified the burrowing owl as a threatened species. The classification comes with criminal penalties for disturbance of the owls or their burrows.

“Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife has protected the official city bird, Burrowing Owls for the past 15 years,” said Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife Vice President Pascha Donaldson in the release. “Our goal now will be to have land donated to our CCFW Land Trust for preservation. We look forward to working with Roseanne for the common cause of protecting the burrowing owl’s habitat.”

Pawelec said she is unsure what the future holds in regard to the book series, but she is looking forward to the continued inspiration of working with Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife.

"When I sat down to write 'Ollie Finds a New Home,' I had several families of burrowing owls living on a vacant lot across the street from my home," Pawelec said. "Sadly, the lot has been sold, the owls have been re-homed, and a new house is being constructed on the lot. Ollie truly had to find a new home."

“Ollie Finds a New Home” can be purchased through the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife at the Rotary Park Environmental Center, and at Cape Coral gift shops, and