Avid Volunteers Laud Zoo Programs, Add Zoo to Estate Plans

Photo of Gary and Marie Koenig and their dog Like many others in central Indiana, we are avid animal lovers, but we are especially interested in the advancement of animal conservation (the Zoo's mission), education, and research. We both volunteered at The Indianapolis Zoo at its former location in Washington Park, and prior to the Zoo's official opening at White River State Park, Marie trained to be a VIP tour guide and conducted guided tours to potential significant donors. We also volunteered at many Zoobilation events.

While working at Eli Lilly and Company in research, Marie became more intrigued about the Zoo's vital research efforts by experiencing special, behind-the-scenes visits. Research is related to conservation, and the Zoo staff participates in several in-house scientific research projects involving animal biology and behavior and animal management.

Both of us are now retired from Lilly and are active in the community, volunteering with nonprofit organizations. We are attracted to organizations like the Zoo, and we are so impressed by the Zoo's primary conservation initiative, the biennial Indianapolis Prize. Equally impressive is the fact that the Zoo supports the National Elephant Center. The Zoo has received international recognition by accomplishing the world's first successful artificial insemination of an African elephant. And how proud we are to be associated with a zoo that will help save one of the most endangered animal species in the world, the orangutans!

We are also happy to support the Indianapolis Zoo due to its focus on education. An example of this is the Conservation Station, a hands-on, interactive exhibit that uses fun guided-play activities to help kids understand what they can do to help secure a future for animals in the wild. Thousands of children benefit from additional programs that include field trips, distance learning, Zoo camps, and overnight adventures presented by educators.

As members of the Laura Githens Smith Society, we are confident that by including the Indianapolis Zoological Society in our estate plans, the funds will be used wisely to help provide for the Zoo's bright and stable future!

Gary and Marie Koenig




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