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It was a Zoo out there!

Posted on: June 6, 2024

In Categories: News & Updates

Fans join us in our tent at the Columbus Zoo

Our racing partner and champion driver Mark Kvamme, co-owner of MDK Motorsports, is also an avid supporter of the world-renowned Columbus Zoo. He and the Zoo staff invited us to visit, set up our tent, display the No. 43 Porsche Cup car and let the visitors know about our mission.

So we did just that!

The Zoo staff was helpful and welcoming, and even gave us a backstage tour. They showed us how they hand-raise their cheetahs, and connect animals’ cages to their open Watering Hole for daily demonstrations. (Trust us, you don’t want to try to bring a hyena out there on a leash!)

But more important — and more gratifying — was the response from the public. Kids sat behind the wheel of our race car while Mark and Conner Burke (MDK’s Alz ambassador) explained the way things work. Meanwhile, their parents talked with Phil, Nick, Ardie and Josh about our fundraising mission and how Alzheimer’s has affected so many people and their families. The zoo personnel — especially Mayme, Erin, Jeff and Colby — helped us during the day and became articulate spokespeople for our cause.

All this was in honor of Mark’s dear friend, Zoo Director Emeritus Jack Hanna, whose family announced he has Alzheimer’s disease in 2021. Jack has many friends and supporters among the membership, and some of them joined us for an after-hours gathering hosted by Zoo President and CEO Tom Schmid.

The event generated several new names, and several thousand dollars in donations. And hundreds more families in Ohio know about Racing to End Alzheimer’s.