ATLANTA – Feb. 22, 2016 – With just months remaining to a critical June deadline, Zoo Atlanta announces a new $7 million in gifts to the “A Grand New View: Elephants, Events and Expansion” campaign.
New gifts include $3 million from an anonymous donor, the third-largest capital campaign gift in Zoo Atlanta history. Four other major gifts include $1 million each from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; The Gary W. Rollins Foundation; The Marcus Foundation; and The Zeist Foundation.
“We’re very energized by the momentum we’ve seen with the ‘Grand New View’ campaign and continue to be very grateful to our philanthropic community for this historic investment in the future of Zoo Atlanta, yet there is still work to be done to reach our goal,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “We can see the finish line, but the homestretch is the most challenging and important part of this race, and we still need support.”
The Zoo’s campaign got off to a tremendous start in November 2014, when the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation announced a $20 million matching grant which will match gifts made to the campaign by June 30, 2016, on a 1:1 basis. In order to achieve its project budget of $38.1 million, Zoo Atlanta must raise an additional $3.35 million. To be able to claim the entire match and take full advantage of the Woodruff Foundation’s extraordinary generosity, the Zoo’s ultimate goal is to raise another $4.3 million for a total of $40 million.
The campaign has now received 10 gifts of $1 million or more, including $1 million from Delta Air Lines through The Delta Air Lines Foundation; $1 million from Georgia Power Foundation; $1 million from The Kendeda Fund; and $1 million from longtime Zoo supporters David and Cecelia Ratcliffe, all announced in 2015.
“Over my many years as a supporter of Zoo Atlanta, I have always been impressed by the enormous potential the Zoo has to become truly great,” said Arthur M. Blank, Chairman of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, who along with Mayor Kasim Reed serves as an Honorary Chair of the ‘Grand New View’ campaign. “The Zoo now has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to expand its footprint, enhance its commitment to conservation of elephants, and create a best-in-class events venue. This is more than just an opportunity for the Zoo; it’s an opportunity for the people of Atlanta and Georgia to enjoy new experiences that will attract even more people to the singular advantages of our city and state. I hope that the Atlanta philanthropic community will continue to step up to help the Zoo close the gap at this critical point in the campaign.”
The “Grand New View” campaign will enable an unprecedented expansion of Zoo Atlanta made possible by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s 2014 announcement that the Zoo would become the new steward of the Cyclorama building and its adjacent property. The historic building will be revitalized and reborn as a one-of-a-kind event destination overlooking a new African savanna, where the Zoo’s African elephants and giraffes will roam a new and significantly expanded habitat. Other transformations will include a grand entry plaza from Cherokee Avenue following the demolition of the Zoo’s present Administration Building. The City of Atlanta has agreed to fund a parking and mobility solution to address the current and future needs for transportation and access to Grant Park.
The project is currently in design development and is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2017, with an anticipated opening date in early 2019. View updates and a conceptual video at http://zooatlanta.org/grand_new_view.
Rachel Davis Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office
404.309.2238 – cell
About Zoo Atlanta
Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with some 1,300 animals from around the world. The Zoo’s newest destination, Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 60 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, opened in 2015 and is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. Zoo collection highlights include Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; North America’s largest zoological collection of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, giant pandas, lemurs and Aldabra giant tortoises. Zoo Atlanta is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.