November 17, 2017
 
Zoo New England Zootopia Gala Raises $450K, Setting a Record

May 26, 2017 — Zoo New England, a Boston-based nonprofit that manages Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, announced that its recent gala raised $450,000, surpassing its goal of $385,000 by 17% to set a record for the annual event.

The Zootopia gala, held May 13 at the Royal Sonesta Boston, drew 398 attendees, slightly more than the 375 it sought to attract.

John Linehan, president and CEO of Zoo New England, said, "Zootopia was a phenomenal success and the energy at this year’s event was contagious. The success of this event, which was truly a team effort, can be attributed to so many who not only support our mission but recognize the tremendous treasures and incredible value that Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo are to the Commonwealth."

Last year, Zootopia raised a then-record $400,000, drawing 350 people.

The event generated the equivalent of 31% of the annual amount the organization intends to raise through unrestricted giving, which will support the operation and continued growth of the two zoos.

Funds were raised through individual tickets, which cost $500, and table sponsorships starting at $5,000, augmented by silent and live auctions, featuring fine art, sculptures, jewelry, textiles and other artwork, and a fund-a-need component, which drew donations ranging from $100 to $10,000.

Sponsors this year included Citizens Bank, NECN, Dewey and Margaret Awad, Robert Beal, Baystate Financial, Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, Eastern Bank, and Kingdom Wine Company.

David Porter, Zoo New England board chair, was presented with the Silverback Award by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Zootopia 2017 was hosted by NBC Boston, NECN anchor Latoyia Edwards and chief meteorologist Matt Noyes.

Franklin Park Zoo, comprising 72 acres in Boston’s Franklin Park, was founded in 1912 and managed by the City of Boston until 1958, when the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), a state agency, assumed management. The MDC managed the zoos until 1991, when legislation created the private Commonwealth Zoological Corporation (CZC). In July of 1997 the CZC changed its name to Zoo New England to reflect its regional appeal.

Stone Zoo, formerly known as the Middlesex Fells Zoo, is located on 26 acres near the Spot Pond reservoir in Stoneham, was founded in 1905. In 1969, the site was renamed in honor of Walter D. Stone, a former Zoo Director. In 1991, the CZC assumed control of Stone Zoo.

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