WCS's New York Aquarium Helps Those in Need This Holiday Season with Toy and Food Drives


WCS’s New York Aquarium Partners with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz on Holiday Toy Drive

Aquarium partners with the Food Bank For New York City on food drive this season

Brooklyn, N.Y., Dec. 6, 2010 – Animals at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium always have food to eat and toys to play with, but many New Yorkers aren’t as fortunate.

The New York Aquarium is taking part in Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s annual toy drive as well as the Food Bank For New York City’s food drive. Both of these programs provide families in need with food throughout winter and toys for their children during the holidays.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Borough President Marty Markowitz and the Food Bank For New York City to help a community that has been such a strong supporter to the Wildlife Conservation Society over the years,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “We’re very happy to help New York City families have an enjoyable holiday season.”

The aquarium will collect toys for underprivileged children until December 31, 2010. Visitors can bring their new, unwrapped toys to the aquarium’s lobby for distribution by the Borough President’s office. 

“As someone who grew up in poverty, I know the importance of giving, not only during the holiday season but year-round,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Bravo to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium and the Food Bank for New York City for helping us provide toys and food to thousands of Brooklynites. Helping those in need—now that’s what I call the Brooklyn attitude!”

The aquarium will also partner with the Food Bank For New York City to collect food for underprivileged New Yorkers. There are more than 1.4 million New Yorkers relying on emergency food. The Food Bank For New York City solicits, warehouses and distributes food to more than 1,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community-based programs around the five boroughs. Starting November 22 through December 31, visitors can bring unopened packages of food in plastic containers (not glass) to the aquarium’s lobby for distribution by the Food Bank For New York City. 

“At a time when one in five New York City residents is relying on the Food Bank's programs and services, including one in five children, we are very grateful to the Wildlife Conservation Society for their support. The holidays can be an especially daunting time for families who are struggling to put food on the table. With 93 percent of soup kitchen and food pantries experiencing an increase in first-time visitors, this has been very challenging - for the Food Bank and for the families we serve. This wonderful food drive will certainly help us bring more families together during the holiday season,” said Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City.

As a thank you to the public for every new, unwrapped toy or grocery bag filled with 10 or more packaged food items, WCS will provide one free general admission ticket—limit 4 per family, valid 1/01/2011 through 6/30/2011.** The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo are also participating in the food and toy drives.  Donations can be dropped off at the park entrance (no admission necessary).

** Disclaimer: ONE general admission ticket to the Bronx Zoo will be provided for a donation of one new, unwrapped toy OR for every 10 food items at the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo or Queens Zoo.  ONE general admission ticket to the New York Aquarium will be provided for a donation of one new, unwrapped toy OR for every 10 food items at the New York Aquarium.  Limit of four tickets per family, valid 01/ 01/11 through 06/30/11. Food items must be canned, packaged and/or nonperishable foods –perishable items are not permitted. All WCS decisions final. Promotion available from 11/22/10 –12/31/10. May not be combined with any other offer.

Barbara Russo - 718-265-3428; brusso@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718- 220- 5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.  Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium opens every day of the year at 10am, and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is $13.00 for adults, $9.00 for children ages 3-12 and $10.00 for senior citizens (65 and older); children under 3 years of age are admitted free. Fridays after 3pm, admission is by suggested donation. The Aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other Aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the New York Aquarium, Brooklyn's most heavily attended attraction and a beloved part of the City of New York.

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can support these projects, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation

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