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Press Release

Pennies for Polar Bears

April 14, 2014

Zoo Needs Kids’ Help to Bring the Bears Back to Madison

MADISON, WI (April 14, 2014) — Kids can help Bring the Bears Back to Madison, too! We welcome our youngest Zoo Friends to make a bear bank out of reclaimed materials and collect “Pennies for Polar Bears”! Once filled with change from couch cushions, a lemonade stand, or by asking friends and family to help, donations can be returned to the Zoo Gift Shop.

“We’re excited to invite our youngest Zoo Friends to help us Bring the Bears Back to Madison. Pennies for Polar Bears brings together kids, arts and crafts, recycling and the Zoo – what a great way to make a change!” said Lynn Pawelski, Volunteer Coordinator of the Friends of the Zoo.

Using materials found at home, kids can decorate a plastic drink bottle to look like a Polar Bear, Grizzly Bear, Seal or other favorite Henry Vilas Zoo animal. The bottle can be decorated with materials found around the house – buttons for eyes, yarn for a tail, fleece or felt for a soft body, cardboard or extra bottle caps for feet. Kids are welcome to let their imaginations soar! When returning their donations, kids can complete a form that shares who they are: name, parent’s name, address, email, and phone. As a thank you, participating kids will receive a Certificate of Appreciation from Henry Vilas Zoo and Friends of the Zoo and be entered to win a special Zoo experience!

All funds raised through Pennies For Polar Bears will help us build the new Arctic Passage exhibit that will allow the Henry Vilas Zoo to Bring the Bears Back to Madison and display the beauty of the Arctic in a dynamic exhibit. The exhibit will feature an expansive polar bear habitat with an underwater viewing area for visitors to more closely experience the beauty of the species and a dynamic habitat for grizzlies that will allow visitors the rare chance to watch a bear capture a live fish for its lunch. The money raised from year-round food and beverage sales at the dining space will support costs of the Arctic Passage as well as staff and other zoo expenses.