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$4.3 Million EFOZ Campaign Announced

$3.5 Million Raised

Campaign Co-Chairs Rick Mitchell and Duane Henrikson announced today the public phase of the Emporia Friends of the Zoo OASIS CAMPAIGN.

$3.5 million of the $4.3 million goal has been raised.

“We are excited to launch the public phase of the OASIS CAMPAIGN,” says Rick Mitchell. “With 80 percent raised, we are hoping that the friends and supporters of the Zoo will help us close out this historic campaign.”

The campaign serves to fund eight capital projects, says Zoo Director Lisa Keith. “We are renovating several animal exhibits, adding several animal exhibits, improving infrastructure including parking and renovating and expanding the EFOZ Education Center. They are all part of our master site plan adopted by the City and EFOZ in 2016.”

New Zoo Entrance for easier access

Renovated and expanded EFOZ Education Center

Street renovation and expanded parking

Dedicated bus parking

3 New Animal Exhibits:

                North American River Otter Exhibit

                Wallaby Exhibit

                Laughing Kookaburra Exhibit

5 Renovated Animal Exhibits:

                Waterfowl Pond & Gardens                            Llama & Rhea Exhibit

King Vulture Exhibit                                           Cereopsis Goose Exhibit

                Emu Exhibit                                                         

A leadership gift of $1.5 million from the Walter S. & Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee made the campaign a reality. “We can’t say enough about the Jones Trust and Bank of America,” says Henrikson. “Its lead gift provided energy for the campaign, and as a result we have been able to secure $3.5 million to-date.”

“We are extremely grateful to the E.L. & Z. Irene Hopkins Foundation for the lead gift it provided for the renovation and expansion of the EFOZ Education Center,” said Mitchell. “These types of projects are only possible because of the involvement of signature donors.”

During the quiet phase the Jane & Bernard Reeble Foundation, William & Aloha Preston Trust, Trusler Foundation, and Emil Babinger Trust joined the two lead donors and dozens of individual and business donors. “As we begin the public phase of the campaign, we can’t express enough our thanks and gratitude to all those who have helped us reach this point in time,” said Henrikson.

With more than 90,000 annual zoo visitors, campaign leaders say the OASIS CAMPAIGN is an important step in the life of the Zoo.

“Practical items like vehicle access, streets and parking, are a priority,” said Campaign Committee Member Margaret Wright. “EFOZ’s educational programs are growing by leaps and bounds and the Education Center and outdoor education areas are a priority.”

“The thoughtful and planned addition and management of animal exhibits are paramount,” added Committee Member Maryann Peak. “If all goes according to plan, waterfowl, Laughing Kookaburra, Emu, Cereopsis Goose, King Vulture, Rhea, Llama and North American River Otter Exhibits will be funded by this campaign.”

The signature new animal exhibit at $850,000, is the North American River Otter Exhibit, an addition to the Zoo. “It is the final and largest project to be funded by the campaign,” said Duane Henrikson. “All those joining us in the public phase of the campaign will be helping to ensure that the North American River Otter Exhibit will be completed.”

Emporia Friends of the Zoo is a sanctioned 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Gifts to the Zoo are tax deductible.

Campaign Leadership Committee: Honorary Campaign Chair: Richard Bennett. Campaign Co-Chairs: Duane Henrikson & Rick Mitchell. Committee Members: Erren Harter, Lacie Hamlin, Ryan Kohlmeier, John Kretsinger, Colleen Mitchell, Maryann Peak, Sharon Tidwell, Bobby Thompson, Rex Williams, Margaret Wright and Lisa Keith.