FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A grant of $200,000 will be given to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, with $100,000 coming from the Foellinger Foundation in Fort Wayne and $100,000 coming from The James Foundation in Auburn in hopes of funding programs due to coronavirus losses.
“Among the challenges brought forth by the pandemic has been the negative impact on learning and educational experiences,” said Cheryl Taylor, President of Foellinger Foundation. “We’re proud to join The James Foundation in demonstrating the nimble and strategic response that private philanthropy offers.”
The coronavirus pandemic has created a $5 million loss in revenue for the Zoo, according to a press release. Forced delays, a decline in membership renewals and attendance being capped at 50% have caused the loss, officials said.
The loss has created a possibility of needing to cutting programs such as on-grounds and off-site educational activities and the Community Ticket program, officials said.
The Community Ticket program offers complimentary tickets to other area nonprofits that serve children and families facing less opportunity and great need in the community.
“These funds will be used to support the Zoo, including trips for those facing hardship – ensuring that, even in this trying economic season, children will be able to experience the wonder and enlightenment offered by Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo,” said Kendra Klink, Executive Director of The James Foundation.
Jim Anderson, Executive Director of Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo said the Zoo was grateful for the investment.
“Each time a child comes to the Zoo they not only have a chance to connect with amazing animals but can also experience a world of adventure right here in Fort Wayne,” said Anderson. “It is during these adventures that children learn about the world around them. We are honored to be a part of each child’s learning adventure.”
The donors said they hope to continue the giving spirit and ask that others in the community will give to the Zoo and potentially match their donation.
“We invite other individuals across our region to join us in this effort and make a gift to the Zoo this summer in hopes that – together – those gifts can generate another $100,000 in support for the Zoo,” said Klink. “For 56 years the Zoo has been apart of what makes our community a great place to live and has provided millions of amazing memories for families. I hope everyone who is able joins us in this effort to support the Zoo during this challenging time.”
To donate in support of the $100,000 community fundraising goal: visit the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo website, call the Donor Development team at 260-427-2040 or mail a gift to 341 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46808.