A big reveal for a tiny giraffe happened on Give to the Max Day on Thursday:
Meet Ivy of St. Paul’s Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.
The newborn’s name, chosen over Dahlia and Aster by voters, was announced as part of the excitement during Minnesota’s 15th annual online “giving holiday” for nonprofits and schools.
“There’s a lot of synergy, a lot of synergy,” said Laurel Lundberg, director of individual giving at Como Friends, the nonprofit partner of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.
With up to $40,000 in matching funds, donations were brisk to Como Friends on Thursday via givemn.org in support of one of St. Paul’s favorite places. Funds raised will help provide expert care for Ivy and her mom, Zinnia, as well as the other animals, in addition to supporting the gardens of the conservatory and one especially popular feature for both the zoo and the conservatory.
“When I talk to people, almost everyone expresses that’s it’s because admission is free that they’re giving,” Lundberg says.
Donations help cover all those costs, including a $500 early gift (a “Golden Ticket” or random prize drawing) that Como Friends received via GiveMN, the host of Give to the Max.
Como Friends was one of thousands of Minnesota nonprofits seeking donations on Thursday. As the campaign ended at 11:59 p.m., $34,200,792 million had been raised for 6,615 nonprofits and schools.
Despite the economic climate of rising prices and a post-pandemic dip in charitable giving nationally, the 2023 total just edged the $34.1 million raised last year.
As for Ivy, Lundberg says the calf is doing well. Born on Nov. 7, she’s already 6 feet tall and 132 pounds.
Visitors might or might not see Ivy if they stop by the zoo — it just depends; you know how newborns are — but Lundberg says Ivy does seem to be curious about her world around her so far. Stay up to date at comozooconservatory.org.
As for her name, Como reports that it was voted on by guests to the zoo as well as followers of Como’s social media. Of the three choices, Ivy was the winner with 45% of the vote, followed by Dahlia with 40% and Aster with 15% of the votes.