BENEFITING: AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ZOO KEEPERS
EVENT DATE: May 31, 2013
AAZK’s (American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc.) Bowling for Rhinos fund raiser began on a small scale and is now an AAZK-sponsored North American event raising between $200,000- $300,000 annually. Our goal now is to raise at least $500,000 annually. In 1990, we began by supporting the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (formerly Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary) in Kenya. AAZK is made up of over 90 chapters nation-wide. Each chapter that participates in Bowling for Rhinos adds to the cumulative total that is raised each year.
AAZK realized that the zoo keepers of the world were extremely conservation oriented and wanted to help save rhinos and their habitats, yet did not have the financial resources themselves to make any significant impact. That’s when the idea came to start a national bowl-a-thon called Bowling For Rhinos.
The beauty of the idea is that these fundraisers are organized by volunteers, who donate their time and organizational skills to help raise money to send directly to the places in need. Since all the people involved are volunteers, 100% of all donations are sent directly to these in situ rhino conservation areas! And it's not just about rhinos anymore, we are saving habitats and therefore everything from orchids to elephants!
In Kenya Africa, BFR supports the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy where our donations help protect both black and white rhinos and most of the other species native to East Africa.
In Indonesia BFR supports the remaining Javan Rhinos at Ujung Kulon National Park and the Sumatran Rhinos in Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas National Parks through the International Rhino Foundation.
BFR also supports Action for Cheetahs in Kenya. Cheetahs share much of the same habitat as rhinos and by working to conserve cheetahs we are also saving rhinos and the countless other species that call that habitat home.
An additional component to species conservation and the reason AAZK supports the programs it does, is that each entity supported by Bowling for Rhinos has a very strong community development aspect to it. The local people who live in these regions must benefit as well. So in reality you are not only saving rhinos but all of the other species that share the same habitat as well as improving the lives of people from the surrounding communities. It's a win-win situation for animals and people.