Welcome to your exclusive donors page! This Zoo season is packed with special events, fundraisers and animal encounters that will delight the entire family. If you have questions about the Andrew Erkenbrecher Society or Keeper Circle information, please contact Shannon Silk at 513-487-3329 or [email protected].

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Andrew Erkenbrecher Society

Thank you for your support of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden as an Andrew Erkenbrecher Society Donor! Your contributions help support the Zoo’s vision “to inspire every visitor with wildlife every day.”

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Keeper Circle

Thank you for your support of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden as a Keeper Circle Donor! Your contributions help support the Zoo’s vision “to inspire every visitor with wildlife every day.”

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Donor Blog

In honor of the one-year anniversary of Hippo Cove this July we wanted to give a big thanks to all thousands of our friends who generously gave to her care. One such story shows the power of selfless giving.

School-aged kids usually look forward to their birthdays with frenzied excitement, enumerating all the cool presents they want. But as Franny’s 11th birthday approached, her fondest wish had already come true.

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Franny had waited years for hippos to come live at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. When she was five, she wrote the Zoo a letter suggesting it. Fortunately, she wasn’t alone in this wish, and a successful fundraising campaign brought it to fruition in 2016.

Looking forward to her spring birthday, Franny’s mom, Kate, recounts, “She has her bike, her skates, her toys… She recognized that she had everything she needed.” So what do you get the fifth grader who has everything?

Franny, along with her parents and two brothers, has faithfully followed Fiona’s progress since the preemie hippos surprised us all in January. She decided to have a birthday party and ask all of the guests to bring a donation for Fiona’s ongoing–and expensive–round-the-clock care.

“She’s her own person, a true individual,” Kate says. She says she wasn’t surprised when Franny presented her with the idea, because that’s the kind of kid Franny is.

The party featured music and dancing, along with a screening of Fiona videos from the Zoo’s Facebook page. Guests came through with nearly $600 and, proud of Franny’s generosity, her parents rounded up the total to $1,000.

Franny wanted to present her gift to the hippo keepers personally, and a family friend on the Zoo’s board helped make it happen. Although Fiona has been the star recently, Franny also adores adult hippos Henry and Bibi. She eagerly accepted an invitation to see them up close. Her brothers, George, age 12, and CJ, age 9, joined her, as did her parents, Chris Bell and Kate Brauer-Bell of Kenwood, and her grandparents, Jack and Cindy Brauer of Indian Hill.

Franny presented her check and then looked in amazement at the hippos’ huge teeth while they chomped down on fruit. “They were so close! And their mouths opened so wide. I will never forget it,” she says.

Franny is already thinking about fundraising ideas for the future. She and her brothers are all passionate about wildlife and conservation. Franny’s other hobbies include dance and music. In fact, the entire family is involved with a production of The Music Man this summer.

Franny’s mom adds, “Franny has been interested in hippos for as long as I remember. We would travel to other zoos, and she would always want to see the hippo if they had one. Now we’re so lucky to have them here at home. As a family we go to the Zoo about once a week and each of my kids has their favorite animal to visit.”

With luck, it won’t be long before they can also visit Fiona. Franny says, “I can’t wait to see baby Fiona in action! I will go as soon as she is in her habitat!”

She adds her thanks to all who contributed to her fundraising effort, saying “I am really thankful to anyone who helped donate money. All of my friends and family did!”

We are thankful as well, to all of Franny’s friends and family, but especially to this remarkable 11-year-old, who took the initiative to make a difference in the life of an animal. Thank you, Franny!

2016 Donor Magazine

Click here, or the image above, to read the 2016 Donor Magazine.

2017 Donor Magazine

Click here, or the image above, to read the 2017 Donor Magazine.

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