Zoo and LatinoFest host annual eventsWritten by Christine Senack | | email@example.com
One of the best-attended charity events of the year is the Toledo Zoo’s “Zoo-to-Do.” The event takes place on the zoo grounds after closing time. Grazing stations, entertainment stages, seating and dance floors are tucked underneath a series of white tents in the open air of the Zoo’s promenade. Bite-size morsels of delicacies are donated by 56 local restaurants and caterers and are highlighted in food stations designed by the restaurateurs and their staff. Music and dancing is provided on three separate entertainment stages.
Returning this year as the event’s presenting sponsor was National City Bank, now a part of PNC. The Zoo is pleased with National City’s leading partnership and the partnership of the many businesses of the businesses offering cash and in-kind donations towards the event.
“National City Bank has been fantastic for us every year,” said Peter Boyer, event chair. “Without their support and the rest of our business support this event would not have happened.”
Because of the support of nearly 100 businesses, the Zoo-to-Do is considered by many to be one of the premier grazing events in our region. National City continues to sponsor the event because of the Zoo’s importance to the region and because the Zoo-to-Do is a significant well-attended event.
“We think that the Zoo is one of the things that brings people into this city,” said Debbie Ernsthausen, senior vice president of client community relations for National City. “We also think that this is a good event and looking around a lot of people agree with us.”
For the first time in the 22-year history of the Zoo-to-Do, the organizers sought media sponsorships. Providing television sponsorship of the event was WTVG 13ABC. The event was highlighted in commercials, the news cast and nearly every community focused program aired at the station. This helped to drive ticket sales and created a sold out event for the Zoo.
The net proceeds of the event support the Zoo’s animal management, conservation, educational and scientific programs.
Recently, the ninth annual LatinoFest was held in Promenade Park. The festival showcases the diversity of Latino music, art, culture and cuisine. Regional musicians as well as national Tejano bands, Sunny Sauceda and Los DesperadoZ performed for the crowd who listened to and danced with the music.
Taylor Automotive was a first time sponsor of the event. Two Latino employees, John Flores and Lupe Cantu, proposed the idea of supporting ethnic festival to their company. The idea was embraced by the company as a way of supporting their employees and clients and as a means of reaching out to new customers.
“I’ve been to every LatinoFest since day one. I was born and raised in the South End of Toledo and still live there. This is my community. These are my neighbors and clients,” said Flores.
“The Latino community buys from Taylor, and we are out here to let them know that we are there for them whether they speak English or Spanish,” said Cantu
Proceeds of the event are reinvested into the Latino community through charities, like the Sofia Quintero Center and events, such as the Diamante Awards.
Christine Senack is a Toledo-based consultant helping non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals work smarter for the greater good of our community. On occasion she also presents the TMZ Report on FOX Toledo News First at 4. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
June 26: Preview Party. Sample fine hors d oeuvres while getting a first look at the Crosby Festival of the Arts artists’ booths. Guests at the preview party will get the first opportunity to purchase artwork offered and speak with the artists. Tickets are $75. Visit toledogarden.org or call (419) 536-5566 for more information.
June 27-28: Crosby Festival of the Arts. Our region’s original, premiere fine arts festival featuring the work of over 230 artists. Admission to the Festival on Saturday and Sunday is $7. Call (419) 536-5566 or visit toledogarden.org for complete information.