Scheels gives large donation to zoo

The Lincoln Children’s Zoo received large check from Scheels:  A $300,000 donation for the zoo’s 10–acre expansion and education project.

"It demonstrates the phenomenal community support," said zoo Executive Director John Chapo.  "You know, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo has been serving for 52 years and we can only do it for one reason, the support of our community."

The project will keep the zoo open year–round and bring in more animals.  It also includes an education and conservation center for enhanced programs and labs, in collaboration with Lincoln Public Schools.

"We’re going to bring giraffes, tigers, great new education facility, new spaces for red pandas, new play areas for kids, outdoor play areas," Chapo said.  "So this is just a significant gift to make it a reality for our community."

Scheels said it’s just part of being a good community partner.

"When we heard the project and all the things that are going to happen and make it a year–round zoo and bring so much to our community, we definitely want to be involved," said Scheels Store Leader Louie Sikich.  And with the education center, just a great way to invest in education that will give back to the years to come and for all those students.  So we think it’s just a great option for the community and just our responsibility to help."

The Lincoln Children’s Zoo hopes to raise $20 million by the year 2020.  After Friday’s donation, they’re at $15.5 million.