Comedy Night for Conservation originated as a twist on the traditional “Bowling for Rhinos” event that supports in-situ rhino conservation. The first ever Comedy Night for Conservation featured Colorado native veterinarian and comedian Kevin Fitzgerald and raised $14,000! Since 2000, Rocky Mountain AAZK has raised $54,912.56 for in-situ rhino conservation. As the years have passed, and our success has grown, Comedy Night for Conservation now benefits a variety of other conservation projects. Such projects include Denver Zoological Foundation conservation programs, the Snow Leopard Conservancy, the Kea Conservation Trust, and the Sea Turtle Survival Alliance. Comedy Night for Conservation has become RMAAZK's largest fundraiser and we are extremely grateful to everyone who supports this event year after year!
Over the last two years, brave, the curious, and determined participants have strapped on their hiking boots and climbed mountains for rhinos. Rocky Mountain AAZK decided to try something a little different for BFR (Bowling for Rhinos; National AAZK’s platform fundraiser) and challenged people to hike up 14,000 foot mountains to raise money for BFR. Those that want to participate can either climb, sponsor a climber, or buy one of the Climbing for Rhinos t-shirts. This year, RMAAZK raised over $1,000 and had over 35 climbers trek up a total of three different mountains. 100% of the proceeds went to BFR.
Click HERE for information on our 2016 BFR fundraiser!
Entering its third year, Rocky Mountain AAZK's photo album sale is a “can't miss” event for all animal lovers. With help from talented Denver Zoo staff and volunteers, some of the best captured Denver Zoo animal moments are gathered together in an attractive hard cover photobook. Proceeds raised from this fundraiser have helped the chapter fund our newly established emergency fund, designed to allow quick access to funds in cases when deserving organization are in need of financial support quickly. In 2014, we were able to purchase over 500 books for Unite for Literacy, a Denver Zoo partner project promoting literacy and animal conservation in Botswana. Other proceeds go to help the RMAAZK general operating budget. A call for photos generally happens in October and the photobook sale starts in December. They always make a great gift!
For the past 6 years, talented animal artists from around the zoo have helped Rocky Mountain AAZK with our annual Ornament & Note Card fundraiser! Animal artists ranging from gorillas to porcupines, along with dedicated AAZK members, have made this fundraiser a success year after year. Proceeds from the fundraiser help with keeper development and the general operating budget. Keep an eye out for RMAAZK’s next Ornament & Note Card sale!
During the third week of July AAZK chapters and zoos nationwide celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week. This annual event started in 2007 as a way to recognize the work that zoo keepers do as animal educators and ambassadors. During this week, Rocky Mountain AAZK hosts many activities to show our appreciation to animal staff. Some of these activities include trivia, potlucks, and other get-togethers. To help educate zoo guests about the roles of zookeepers, we also teamed with Denver Zoo to air short videos on two sites on grounds and the zoo’s Facebook page.
In 2012, keepers celebrated zookeeper week by staging Zoo Keeper Olympics! Keepers competed for the gold be participating in hay stacking, (faux) snake wrangling, hose unwinding, and poop scooping competitions!
In 2013, keepers participated in a lively trivia competition “Leopardy”! Testing their animal knowledge, keepers showed off their memories of college learning by defining terms such as zygodactyl and patagium.
In 2014, keepers celebrated Zoo Keeper Week by hosting a pie throwing contest for ALTA (The Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance)! Animal managers volunteered to have pies thrown in their faces by keepers for this great cause, and everyone who participated had an incredible time!