When COVID-19 forced closures across the country, many businesses were hit hard, including one people might not have expected: The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
Now, after many months of hard work and a huge outpouring of support, the Zoo is proud to announce that it has reached its goal of raising $2.5 million for its No Zoo Without You sustainability campaign.
“We think of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens as a community place,” said Dino Ferri, the Zoo’s CEO. “And this was truly a community effort, with support coming in everywhere from government sources to schoolchildren. We’re so, so thankful.”
The No Zoo Without You sustainability campaign kicked off in June 2020 after the Zoo was closed for eight weeks during its busiest season and had racked up a large deficit. The campaign’s goal was to help keep the Zoo’s doors open.
The No Zoo Without You campaign drew support from a wide swath of donors. Ferri specifically thanked the Seminole County Board of Commissioners, Seminole County Tourism Development Council and the City of Sanford, as well as hundreds of individuals donors, from passholders and longtime supporters to those who donated on social media and even classes of students.
While this portion of the sustainability effort has reached its goal, Ferri said the No Zoo Without You concept will continue as the Zoo shifts its fundraising efforts to continued expansion and improvement of the Zoo facilities for guests and animal residents alike.
Those who wish to continue supporting the Zoo have several options: