Skip to main content

Women's Lifestyle Magazine

John Ball Zoo Announces a Wild Fundraiser

Jun 09, 2020 02:29PM ● By Press Release

GRAND RAPIDS MI – In light of John Ball Zoo having to cancel their largest fundraiser of the year, RendeZoo, the event’s sponsors instead pledged to match up to $100,000 in donations through Monday, June 22nd for a total minimum impact of $200,000 for John Ball Zoo. 

As part of the matching campaign, John Ball Zoo is hosting WildLive Week! A hybrid virtual and onsite event from June 16-22 that will boast animal birthday celebrations, fun videos, community partnership announcements and Zoo-themed ways to donate each day. 

Throughout WildLive Week the John Ball Zoo’s matching gift campaign will continue and financial gifts made by the community will be matched for any amount. Gifts can be made online now at

On Tuesday, June 16th, a live Facebook video kicks off WildLive Week with Maranda from WoodTV8 sharing what will be in store during this special week. Plus, the community is invited online or as a Zoo guest to a chimpanzee birthday party. The Zoo is throwing a birthday party for chimpanzee Sammy, who is turning 42. 

For the entire WildLive Week from June 16-22, Uccello's Ristorante has partnered with the Zoo with 15% of dinner sales being donated from each of their six locations. Restaurant patrons just need to present the e-flyer, shared on the Zoo’s Facebook WildLive event page and daily through social media posts. 

The Zoo will give a special thank you to the matching gift sponsors through an online video on Wednesday, June 17th. The sponsors tell why they support John Ball Zoo and why it is important for our community. 

On Thursday, June 18th, the Zoo will celebrate some of their youngest supporters. The youngsters share meaningful messages via an online video and show how giving can come in big and small packages and that every dollar counts. 

Zoo staff also gets involved in WildLive activities. There are many reasons that people love John Ball Zoo. Watch an online video on Friday, June 19th as Zoo staff share their favorite Zoo memories and moments. 

The community will learn how the Zoo prepares and feeds over 2,000 animals in their care on Saturday, June 20th. The Zoo will share an online video of a behind the scenes look at how their diets are prepared and managed. 

The Zoo invited Chef Jenna Arcidiacono, from Amore Trattoria Italiana, to come along and learn about how they create our animal recipes and prepare diets. Also, the Zoo challenged Chef Jenna to create a special enrichment dish for their Chimpanzee troop. Chef Jenna will then help deliver diets to a few of the animals too. 

For Sunday, June 21st, guests can celebrate Father’s Day and red panda Wyatt’s 8th birthday. The Zoo will post a special online video of celebrating his birthday and how his cake was made! Since its Father’s Day, the Zoo reminds us of a great way to celebrate by ordering your favorite Uccello’s dishes, while supporting John Ball Zoo. 

The final day of WildLive Week is Monday, June 22nd and culminates with the John Ball Zoo encouraging the final gifts to meet their matching gift goal of raising a minimum of $200,000. 

John Ball Zoo welcomes back Maranda from WoodTV8 on Tuesday, June 23rd to announce their final matching gift campaign results online. 

You can find out more about the WildLive Week events on the Zoo’s website at, or on their Facebook page and event at Financial gifts that will be doubled can be made online now at