The special one-day event invites children and their families to bring a gently-used stuffed animal to the zoo to donate to charity in exchange for one free kid’s admission and a brand new Sleepy Bear teddy bear.
While free admission is limited to the first 100 children who bring a donation, everyone at the zoo is able to participate in fun-filled activities including face painting and drawing contests along with giveaways such as bear tattoos, National Geographic activity books and Sleepy Bear masks. A keeper from the zoo will also be on hand to educate children about bears and the role they play in the wild.
Stuffed animals gathered from the events will be donated to Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (S.A.F.E.), a national organization that cleans and redistributes the toys to children in need. For every stuffed animal donated at the event, the Travelodge hotel brand will match it with a donation of three brand new Sleepy Bear teddy bears to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, up to 1,500 bears. Starlight is the signature charity of Travelodge and parent company Wyndham Hotel Group.
“For many children, the gift of a stuffed animal is a simple gesture that can help brighten their day, especially when you’re talking about children facing severe illness and other hardships,” said Young. “Starlight and S.A.F.E. are both organizations that do great work with children across the country and we’re delighted to be able to support them through these events.”
Young also announced that the Travelodge brand would make a $10,000 donation through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in support of black bear conservation.
This is the fourth of five events to be hosted by Travelodge at zoo’s across America, with the last event scheduled to take place in San Francisco, Calif. on October 16, 2012. Previous locations included The Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Penn.; The Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas and the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles. Additional details, including dates and times for all upcoming events, are available at www.Travelodge.com.