photo courtesy of ZooMontana

ZooMontana Receives Anonymous $333,000 Donation Earmarked for Education

April 5, 2022

ZooMontana Media Release

On Monday, April 4, 2022, ZooMontana officials announced the receipt of the largest one-time gift in the Zoo's history, $333,000.00, from an anonymous donor. The welcome surprise will be used to semi-endow the Zoo's education program. 

“We are beyond excited to receive this gift, and will dedicate ourselves to meeting the donor’s wishes,” said Jeff Ewelt, Executive Director of ZooMontana. “This wonderful philanthropist asked that the money be used for area youth, so we will safely invest the gift and utilize the yearly interest to purchase necessary, yearly supplies needed to run the Zoo’s educational programming”.

Annually, ZooMontana’s education program reaches over 20,000 students, both on and off Zoo grounds. In 2020, the Zoo’s education team created virtual programming as a response to COVID, allowing them to reach a worldwide audience that included programming in India, Qatar, and Brazil, amongst numerous states and towns within Montana. Slowly but surely, in person programming is making its return, which includes a teen volunteer camp this summer.

Ewelt added that specific gifts like this one allow the Zoo to bolster programming, while freeing up funds for other aspects of the Zoo, helping to ensure overall sustainability of the organization. 

ZooMontana is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3), AZA accredited educational organization committed to the best in animal care, conservation and wildlife education. As Montana’s only Zoological and Botanical Park, ZooMontana is dedicated to wildlife education and conservation revolving around the 45th parallel of earth. The Zoo is located at 2100 S. Shiloh Rd. in Billings, MT just off the Zoo Drive exit (443) of Interstate 90. Find the Zoo on the web at and on Facebook. ZooMontana is open every day at 10am.
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