The grand prize winner of the Just Zoo It! Campaign, a 5th grade class from Deal Island Elementary School, came to the Zoo Thursday to announce the name they chose for the Salisbury Zoo’s female red wolf: Midnight.
Ms. Kolby Noble’s group of 5th graders made the announcement during their VIP tour of the Zoo on Thursday, part of their reward for raising the most money for the Zoo during the Just Zoo It! campaign. They were treated to a pizza party, cupcakes, stuffed animals, and the chance to meet some of the Zoo’s animals up close.
Madison Lessig, 10, came up with the name for the wolf and wrote about it in a persuasive essay. Each student wrote an essay and they voted to determine their favorite. She said she picked Midnight because wolves are nocturnal and it seemed fitting.
This particular group of students has raised the most in Somerset County the previous two years as well, but this year beat out classes in four counties including private schools to capture the grand prize.
“Ever since raising the most money in Somerset County three years ago, my students have been very passionate about continuing to raise the most money during the Just Zoo It! Campaign,” said teacher Kolby Noble. “As their science teacher the past three years and having volunteered at the zoo as a child, I, too have a deep love of the Salisbury Zoo and really tried to encourage them to give back. It has been exciting to see them raise the most money in the county three years in a row. We are a very small school, and a small class, but it goes to show that just a few people can make a difference! The students are so excited to name the wolf and leave a small legacy behind,” she said.
“We are so amazed that these students just keep winning,” said Ashley Bosche of the Delmarva Zoological Society who organizes the annual fundraiser. “As third graders they were so excited. And then to win again as fourth graders was pretty special. But for them to come back again as fifth graders and push it over the top, was just outstanding.”
Students all across Delmarva participated in the Just Zoo It! campaign last fall during Halloween collecting coins for the Delmarva Zoological Society. Overall, the campaign in 2014 raised more than $29,000 for DZS, and since it began four years ago, has raised more than $114,000.
All the money raised goes to help Renew the Zoo, including several projects that are already under way. The new Discover Australia exhibit, featuring wallabies, was opened earlier than scheduled thanks to the first Just Zoo It! campaign in 2011.
DZS has partnered with area schools who distributed the specially-made Just Zoo It cans which were donated by Pepsi Bottling Ventures in Salisbury. The staff at Lower Shore Enterprises helped wrap the cans with the Just Zoo It labels and warehouse space was donated by Vernon Powell Shoes. All of the coins were counted by employees at First Shore Federal.
“One of the truly rewarding aspects of this fundraiser that we all love so much, is that these students learn that just a little bit of effort can make a big difference in their community. So by collecting some coins around the house and from neighbors and loved ones, they are learning how to be philanthropists. Every time they come back to the Zoo, they will know they played a role in ensuring it will be here for their children and grandchildren,” Bosche said.
Other classes are also having Just Zoo It Reward Parties in the next two weeks. Here is the schedule:
Thursday, May 7th, 2015
10 am – 1 pm: Ms. Kolby Noble’s 5th Grade Class from Deal Island Elementary School (OVERALL and Somerset County Winner – $400.11)
Friday, May 8th, 2015
10 am – 1 pm: Ms. Stephanie Krisulevic’s 5th Grade Class at Salisbury School (Private School Winner – $323.25)
11 am – 2 pm: Mr. G. Young’s 3rd Grade Class at Pocomoke Elementary School (Worcester County Winner – $235.88)
Friday, May 15th, 2015
10 am – 1 pm: Ms. Nicole Williams 1st Grade Class at Westside Primary School (Wicomico County Winner – $223.61)
11 am – 2 pm: Ms. Julie Wagner’s 3rd Grade Class at Warwick Elementary School (Dorchester County Winner – $279.49)