Marcy Dean, Director of the Patawatomi Zoo,
and Special "Guests" Visit the Club
Club President, Scott Puckett, rang the bell calling to order the January 9, 2017 meeting of the Elkhart Rotary Club.
Visting rotarians: 
Mo Jacobson from California and Doug Grant from Wawasee.
Pete McCown brought a guest, Lauren Cooper from Community Foundation of Elkhart County.
Scott mentioned that if we know of any movers and shakers, we need to get them in as guests to Rotary so they will want to join. 
Scott stated we have two nominees for Secretary for the Board to start effective July 2017 - Bill Burton and Candy Yoder.
Doug Risser reminded us about Rotary International in Georgia, June 11th-14th, an excellent opportunity to meet our fellow Rotarians.
Matt Lentsch announced that we raised $46,300.00 for the Salvation Army.  Bill Kovach was the number one bell ringer with $501 and Brad Miller rang in $388.56. 
Paul Warning was proud to announce that he and his wife had a son, Austin, January 1st weighing in at 9 pounds and 1 oz.  Congratulations!!
The Sargent for the day was Dave Dygert.  Dave poked jabs at the following:
Scott Puckett – he asked Scott if he wanted to continue to be charming, witty and funny or if he wanted to be President.
Gail Martin – mentioned that she was the Rosa Parks of Rotary.
Tom McArthur – building 200 Homes for Humanity in 2017 which will include a Women’s build.
Steve Eldridge – he asked to quit posting $1 million dollar homes on Facebook, so his wife quits getting ideas on what to do to their own home.  Between Steve and Property Brothers it is hard to keep up.
Pete McCown – has a son that is 6’ 9”.
Tina Weldy – there is nothing in the paper about you.
One of the quotes Dave ended with was “He talks to himself because sometimes he just wants to talk to an expert”.
Brian Housand introduced the speaker for the day, Marcy Dean, Executive Director of the Patawatomi Zoo.
Marcy has been the Executive Director for the zoo since 2006.  She brought two guests, Margie and Janie, who in turn brought two of their own guests: Wiggles, a barn owl, and Kachi, an armadillo. Both are part of their Adopt an Animal Program that was created to educate the community.
Highlights that Marcy mentioned included the following:
  • A public/partnership has recently been formed (2014) to take over the day to day operation of the zoo from the city of South Bend  
  • Since the takeover, the zoo has made huge strides in growth and visitors--232,125--a 5.7% increase
  • They have reached 7,750 member households
  • They have brought in over 200 animals since 2014. 
  • They have also had a record breaking year for education – they have conducted 550 programs and reached 60,000 people
In addition to the Adopt an Animal Program they have added the following:
  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • Brought in more tigers and sloths.
  • Created a Zoo Farm-cows and donkeys… children are able to see and touch the animals
  • Ambassador Animal Program
  • Monkey Islands have Spider and Squirrel monkeys on them
  • Significant births this year have been the Amur leopard cubs; the adult has had 5 in the last 2 years
  • Most recently a baby ant eater was born
Marcy’s Master Plan for the Zoo over the next 15-20 years at a cost of $37 million is for a Major Capital Renovation; they are the oldest zoo in Indiana. Dedicated focus on much needed infrastructure upgrades and taking care of what they already have.  They want to create a Regional Zoo that hits a 45 mile radius and attracts 1.6 million people.
Potawatomi is here to:
  • Conserve
  • Protect
  • Save animals and the community
Scott ended the meeting by announcing that Candy Yoder had received the most votes for the board position of Secretary.  He also reminded members that Thirsty Thursday is at the Artisan on Main Street January 19th at 5:05