Zoo to host yearly backpack giveaway

The Gladys Porter Zoo will host its yearly Kids Appreciation Day event at 6 p.m. Thursday where 1,500 children will receive school supplies including backpacks as they get ready for the new school year.

The zoo has been hosting this event for 18 years and the presenting sponsor is H-E-B Helping Here who provided the backpacks, school supplies and other prizes.

The Brownsville Public Utilities Board is also a sponsor and provided activity books and other prizes. Media sponsors donated airtime to advertise the event.

“Each child present at the drive thru will receive one backpack with school supplies, an activity book, one child pass to the Zoo, and one door prize number,” officials said.

The Zoo will have a virtual event at 10 a.m. Saturday on Facebook where winners of the raffles will be announced. In the past, the zoo would host in-person events but due to COVID-19 they will do it virtually.

The virtual event will spotlight various themes including health and wellness, bike safety, animal conversation and enrichment and a craft.

“We’re so excited to once again be able to host Kids Appreciation Day,” Cynthia Garza-Galvan, marketing director, said.

“And yes, we’re hosting it a bit differently this year, but we are so excited to be able to give back to the community for their continued support. We are huge supporters of education and being able to distribute 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies to our Valley students is something we look forward to every year, and we are especially grateful to H-E-B for increasing the amount of backpacks to 1, 500.”

The event is open to all school-age children. Only thing you have to do to receive a backpack is to be a child present at the drive thru while supplies last.

The drive-thru backpack giveaway will take place in the parking lot across the street from the Zoo. Cars will enter the parking lot through the 6th Street entrance. Children must be present at the drive thru to receive their backpacks and to have the chance to win additional prizes.

Other sponsors for the event include City of Brownsville, Digital 101.5 and KVEO.

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