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Posted by Diana Jones on 07/28/2011


Oklahoma City, OK — The Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS) is pleased to announce they have received a one million dollar donation from the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Kirkpatrick Foundation Inc. Mr. Christian Keesee, Chairman of the Kirkpatrick Foundation and the President of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund announced the gift July 28 at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Noble Aquatic Center.

“The care of animals, both domestic and exotic was of great importance to my mom, Joan Kirkpatrick.  Today we announce a joint gift from the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and the Kirkpatrick Foundation of 1 million dollars to commemorate her memory,” said Chris Keesee.  “This gift is an important and appropriate gift in tribute of my mom and for the health and welfare of the animals of the Oklahoma City Zoo and will be used to help build a new veterinary hospital.”

The hospital is the first structure to be constructed as part of the new Oklahoma City Zoo master plan.

“The Oklahoma City Zoo holds a special place in the hearts and lives of nearly every family in our community. The Kirkpatrick Family has supported the Zoo for decades and we do not for a moment forget how fortunate we are for that support. The Oklahoma Zoological Society and the Oklahoma City Zoo are in the planning stages of a campaign for the new veterinary hospital, but today is about thanking the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, the Kirkpatrick Foundation and all the people involved in making this gift happen” said Dana McCrory, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Zoological Society.  “Since 1954 the Oklahoma Zoological Society has worked hand-in-hand with the Oklahoma City Zoo to ensure its vitality. This successful partnership has gained recognition far beyond our city, showing that public and private support can work together for the greatest good.  Today, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Kirkpatrick Foundation have showcased what kind of impact a partnership of public and private support can make!”

The Kirkpatrick Foundation’s mission is to support Arts and Culture, Education, Animal Concerns, and Environmental Conservation, primarily in Central Oklahoma. The history of the Kirkpatrick’s involvement with the Oklahoma City Zoo dates back 40 years. John Kirkpatrick served as a founding member of Friends of the Zoo (now known as the Oklahoma Zoological Society) and was the driving force behind much of the development of the Zoo. His daughter, Joan continued that family interest in the Zoo and passed that legacy to her son Chris Keesee. The Kirkpatrick Family support has resulted in grants to fund a collaborative zoological residency program, living exhibits, education and conservation projects, monumental sculpture, medical equipment, and animal behavioral training.

OZS was created in 1954 to support and promote the Oklahoma City Zoo and its four purposes of education, conservation, zoological research and recreation. OZS does this through membership drives, fund-raising, capital campaigns, marketing, special events and public relations.

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