‘Zooraiser’ Collects $1,300 for Henry Vilas Zoo

By Heather Wipijewski, Veterinary Technology Program Chair

veterinary technology program,Globe University-Madison East veterinary technology students have been working tirelessly toward their goal to raise funds for the Henry Vilas Zoo’s new Animal Health Center. Currently the zoo has a small area in an administration building where the zoo veterinarian treats the animals. Otherwise, animals may need to be transported to off-site facilities. 

“This new on-site facility will allow us to avoid transport of animals to off-site facilities for treatment. Once complete, the new center will include specialized areas the zoo animals and staff need for surgery, radiology, intensive care, pharmacy, laboratory, isolation and indoor and outdoor holding areas,” said Lynn Pawelski, Friends of the Zoo community outreach director. 

When the students learned the zoo was building a new Animal Health Center, they jumped on the opportunity to help out.  “As an exotic animal fanatic, the opportunity to help Henry Vilas was one I couldn’t pass up. It was incredible how many shared the same drive and desire,” said vet tech student Keith Bourdon.

The students set a goal of $1,000 and soon began their planning.  Many smaller events were held on campus; however, they held a large event, the Zooraiser, Saturday, Oct. 20 at Kids’ Safari in Cottage Grove, Wis.  There was food, games, face painting, balloon animals, a dog costume contest and a raffle. 

The students not only planned the entire event, but also went out into the community to talk to area businesses about the zoo’s plan for their Animal Health Center.  The students went above and beyond with their efforts to support the zoo. Their goal was $1,000 but with dedication and passion, they ended up raising a total of $1300.50!

The Animal Health Center is going to be a great addition to the Henry Vilas Zoo, allowing animals to receive on-site treatment in one central location. 

“The Animal Health Center will also include an area for educational programs, opening up opportunities for training students of all ages,” said Lynn Pawelski. “Partnerships like this one with Globe University are invaluable to helping us provide first-class, on-site care for all of the animals at Henry Vilas Zoo.”

The zoo was on-site at Globe University-Madison East on Monday, Nov. 5 for the official check presentation. They also brought educational animals with for the students to learn about.  This has been a great partnership and one the students are passionate about. 

“Joining with the Henry Vilas Zoo to make a difference for the animals is one I won’t soon forget,” said Keith Bourdon.