ATASCADERO — While some people who have memberships to the Charles Paddock Zoo may notice a slight change, Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo President Dr. Steve Robinson said many people will not know that there is a new organization associated with the zoo.
Since Atascadero’s zoo was first accredited through the Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums, the Central Coast Zoological Society has fundraised and handled memberships for the zoo. That is, until now.
About three months ago, Robinson said, talks of a new organization that would solely raise funds for the zoo began. Though he said that the organization is not officially city sanctioned yet, it should go before the city council within the next month.
Zoo Society President George Dodge said that there are no hard feelings with the new organization or that the city will work with that organization officially.
“The city decided not to renew our contract,” Dodge said. “That doesn’t mean we go out of business, but what that does mean is the reciprocity membership goes out of business.”
Because of that, Dodge said, the zoo society board decided to continue its existence, but eventually it’ll be under the umbrella of the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival.
Dodge said the society will continue to control the money in its accounts dedicated to the zoo, such as a $100,000 donation designated for the red panda exhibit.
“We want the zoo to succeed and that’s the main thing,” Dodge said. “We want to make the zoo the best it can be.”
Robinson said that the zoo society had been dedicating more of its time toward the wine festival, so the Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo will focus on other fundraising efforts, as well as pursuing grants, to raise money for the zoo to fulfill its masterplan.
For memberships, Dodge said, any that were issued July 1 will be good at the Charles Paddock Zoo and any others that accept recipropal memberships until it expires. Robinson said the Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo will also sell memberships .
Robinson said that help with fundraising, writing grant proposals and staffing events will be needed in the future.
“We definitely want as much help as we can get,” Robinson said. “We’ll be seeking help in the not-so-distant future.”
For those interested in being notified when help is needed, contact the zoo at 461-5080.
For the complete article see the 06-27-2012 issue.
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