Just Zoo It! recognizes its top student fundraisers

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The Delmarva Zoological Society Prize Patrol visited  five schools in four counties last week to surprise the classes that raised the most money through the Just Zoo It! program, a fundraiser that in total has raised more than $114,000 since it began in 2011.

This is the fourth year that students across the Lower Shore have collected coins and cash in special Just Zoo It! containers for the Delmarva Zoological Society, the non-profit that raises money for capital improvement projects at the Salisbury Zoo.

The class that raised the most in each county is rewarded with a special VIP trip to the Zoo in the spring to meet Zookeepers, learn about the collection of animals, enjoy a pizza party, cupcakes, and take home a T-shirt and a Zoo stuffed animal.

 This year’s overall winner — the class that raised the most in Worcester, Wicomico, Dorchester, Somerset and private schools — is Kolby Noble’s 5th grade class from Deal Island Elementary School.

This is a class of star fundraisers, who have won every year they’ve participated in Just Zoo It!  As third graders, they won. As fourth graders, they won. And now, as fifth graders they’ve won the grand prize, and will be able to create a lasting legacy for their class and their school at the Salisbury Zoo.

Noble’s class raised $400.11 in nickels, dimes and quarters, and will get the opportunity to choose a name for  the Zoo’s female Red Wolf, which was born at the Salisbury Zoo in 2008.

“We are so appreciative of every student who helped collect coins for the Salisbury Zoo,” said Ralph Piland, Zoo Director. “But this class has clearly shown their commitment year after year to helping our Zoo prosper. Those kids are really helping to make a difference in their community, and have learned that giving back can be a rewarding experience.”

 The winners include:

Somerset County Winner: Deal Island Elementary – Kolbe Noble’s 5th grade class – $400.11

Wicomico County Winner:   Westside Primary – Nicole Williams 1st grade class – $223.61

Dorchester County Winner: Warwick Elementary – Julie Wagner’s 3rd grade class – $279.49

Worcester County Winner: Pocomoke Elementary – G. Young’s 3rd grade class – $235.88

Private School Winner: Salisbury School – Stephanie Krisulevicz’s 5th grade class – $323.25

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.

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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.

“Seeing how much students all over the Delmarva Peninsula love the Zoo helps motivate us to work even harder to make sure we have an outstanding Zoo in our community,” said DZS Board Chair Ashley Bosche. “We know how special the Zoo is and it’s gratifying to see it reflected in the excitement every year of these students who want to do something to give back.”

The Delmarva Zoological Society is the 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that was created to raise funds for the Salisbury Zoo. To learn more about Just Zoo It or DZS, go to RenewTheZoo.com or call (410) 742-3977.

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