Lesley is the current Director of Institutional Advancement & Marketing at the Sacramento Zoo.
She has been a long-time animal lover which had originally led her to pursue the idea of becoming a veterinarian. However, she ended up getting a degree in PR instead and jumped into the realm of corporate PR. She soon realized this wasn’t her passion, so she started doing PR for humane societies and other public welfare groups. She has now been at the zoo for about 6 years handling fundraising!
Zoo staff knows that time spent in nature and around animals has a positive impact on childhood development and mental health. This compelled them to create a campaign to give vulnerable kids and families in our area an opportunity to experience the zoo when they otherwise may not have.
This year, the Zoo started their “A Zoo Day for All” program through which they have given away more than 10,000 zoo admission tickets to youth-focused organizations all around the Greater Sacramento region. The feeling of giving these tickets out and seeing how excited it made the organizations who received them, blessed the team greatly.
Through this campaign, The Alliance received 500 tickets to distribute to 13 Alliance member agencies and nonprofits serving kids and families!
Tickets were given to formerly homeless families, youth in foster care with multiple different agencies as well as adoptive families in local support groups.
The team’s heart to give back to at-risk kids and families allowing them to experience a fun day at the zoo is so touching. And, the zoo is a nonprofit organization that depends on donations and gate revenue (ticket sales) to feed and care for nearly 400 animals. It is incredible to see such generosity in an effort to bless others with an experience at the zoo!
The zoo is a magical place for kids; full of uniqueness and excitement. For those who may have never had an experience like this, the awe and wonder can leave a lasting impact on their lives. And, bringing families together so that they can create memories with one another is a truly beautiful gift. The Sacramento Zoo team is making an incredible difference one ticket at a time.
(Picture of a family who received tickets enjoying a day at the zoo!)