The roar at the San Antonio Zoo was a roar of applause, after Valero Energy Corp donated $3 million to the Zoo to pay for educational efforts, mainly to help low income children, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Our mission is to get as many kids as possible exposed to the zoo, and to the animals in our care," Zoo Director Tim Morrow said.
"The Valero endowment will allow San Antonio Zoo to further its educational reach by providing funding to bring more disadvantaged youth and families to visit the zoo, connect with nature, and engage in its mission of conservation and education. Beneficiaries of this endowment include groups that specialize in providing services to San Antonio area families and youth with special needs or from lower socio-economic areas," the Zoo said in a statement.
Morrow says the money will help fund the zoo's conservation efforts, as it works to preserve wildlife.
“The zoo is such a critical part of our city and it certainly adds to the vibrancy of our community for businesses, residents, and visitors,” said Joe Gorder, Chairman, President and CEO of Valero. “Valero is excited to contribute this endowment for San Antonio Zoo to provide life-enriching opportunities for students and their families who may not otherwise experience nature, learn about the environment or get an up-close view of animals from across the globe.”
The Valero Endowment for the San Antonio Zoological Society, which is funded by the $3 million donation, will help with the zoo's regular education expenses, as well as fund camp programs, sleep-over opportunities, and the planned transfer of the Will Smith Zoo School to its new location adjacent to the zoo next month.
PHOTO: CHUCK CUREAU, SAN ANTONIO ZOO