Eaton power management company has donated $120,000 to the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Window to the Wild capital campaign, the Zoological Society of Milwaukee announced Tuesday morning.
Work began on Adventure Africa, the first phase of the 25-year Window to the Wild project – which will transform nearly a quarter of the zoo’s developed area – in spring.
Eaton donated $100,000 during the "quiet" phase of the campaign, which was publicly announced in May.
Another $10,000 gift followed and the company committed another $10,000 in August.
"It is remarkable to see a company like Eaton not only make one donation but to come back and continue to give," said Zoological Society president and CEO Jodi Gibson. "We are honored to work with them as we continue to make the Zoo a key destination site."
The money will be used to help fund one of five elephant suites – or private "bedrooms" for each of the zoo’s elephants – in the new Elephant Care Center, which is expected to open next spring as part of the completely new elephant exhibit in the Adventure Africa area. The gift buys Eaton naming rights on one of the rooms.
According to the Zoological Society, the Milwaukee County Zoo is the only zoo within a six-hour drive of Milwaukee that houses elephants.
"We are proud to support the Zoological Society and the Milwaukee County Zoo," said Jon Wehrli, VP/GM, Power Reliability Division, Eaton.
"Eaton’s engagement and passion for supporting the Zoo embodies the spirit of the employees of Eaton as well as our company’s aspirational goal to make our communities stronger and be active stewards of the environment."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.