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March 27, 2008

Saving the zoo

Kansas City Zoo director Randy Wisthoff’s budget remedies (3/22, A-1, “Impending cuts to KC’s zoo get attention all over town”) were all cuts or eliminations. May I suggest a more proactive approach?

Make “Adopt a Resident” signs for cages, listing the “board and room” costs. Allow families, schools and churches to donate funds to support their favorite animal or family.

Hold a charity auction. Solicit donated goods from Kansas City businesses for a “Save the Zoo” auction. Contact sports organizations for “lunch with a pro,” for example. Enlist local celebrities.

Hire a professional fundraiser to contact charitable organizations and foundations for grants and donations.

Launch a membership campaign for the Friends of the Zoo, with a contest for the person signing up the most new members.

Hold volunteer work days, allowing volunteers to work alongside employees at tasks such as groundskeeping, cleaning cages and painting.

Place collection jars for donations throughout the city with vivid labels and zoo pictures. Volunteers could distribute, collect, count and submit donations weekly.

Erect a large thermometer at the zoo’s entrance showing the goal and funds raised weekly.

Rather than denying picnic lunches, why not get creative?

Jim Summers

The Kansas City Zoo is unquestionably a regional attraction. The Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau, for one, lists the zoo — along with other Kansas City, Mo., attractions – as a reason to visit.

I would support a metrowide cultural tax for the zoo, Union Station, Liberty Memorial, etc. I have seen what Denver, Indianapolis and others have done to revitalize their city centers with metrowide support. We need to keep up.

If you oppose that, please consider doing your part voluntarily by joining Friends of the Zoo.

As noted in The Star (3/22, A-1), the numbers of zoo friends in St. Louis (37,000) and Omaha (60,000) dwarf Kansas City’s (16,000). A family Friends of the Zoo membership is just $65 a year. If we could double the number of “Friends,” that would more than cover the city’s proposed budget cut.

Whether publicly, privately or both, we must support the continuation of the attractions that make Kansas City major league.

Teresa Hellman
Prairie Village



JoCo wants to get a free ride, just look at Arrowhead. If you are from KS (especially JoCo) you can count on Krylon this 2008 season.


Good evening jack(louie),

The renters need only bring their slips from tax paid on vehicles. This only rules out JaCO residents who buy their license sticker in front of the Dollar Store from unsavory characters.


Jack, I'd prefer that Jackson County or KCMO just slap a surcharge for all of their events. They want Johnson County to pay for everything, but they insist that it be located in KCMO and that they get full control of the funds.

No freaking way would I ever vote for this type of arrangment. Look what they've done to the schools alone.


Chris40: Can you imagine the controversy over bring a property tax receipt or similar to the zoo? That's what they do with the "special" days for JACO residents to buy Chiefs tickets. DLs and stuff like that don't work. Guess they don't want to be over run with the kind of rifraff that rents.


Why not just charge people outside of Jackson County a dollar or two more for a ticket? I usually go to the zoo once or twice a year, and I'd much rather just pay a few bucks extra than to give tens of millions of dollars in tax money for JayCo politicians to loot and mismanage.

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