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Chicago Zoological Society awarded new vehicle for outreach and education efforts as part of Toyota’s “100 Cars for Good.”

The Chicago Zoological Society is one of 100 nonprofit organizations that were awarded a vehicle for outreach and education efforts as part of Toyota’s “100 Cars for Good” program. Today, November 16, CZS staff received a Sienna minivan during a special presentation at Continental Toyota, located at 5901 South La Grange Road in Countryside.

The Toyota “100 Cars for Good” program showcased nonprofit organizations that could benefit from a new vehicle in order to continue to do “good” in their local communities.


“We are very appreciative of this tremendous donation from Toyota,” said Stuart Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society. “The new van will be instrumental in enabling us to bring our conservation and informal science education programs to underresourced communities throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Our dedicated staff travels year-round to these communities, inspiring families to gain an appreciation of nature and wildlife not only globally but also in their own backyards.” The minivan will also be used to transport young students to the zoo and field locations as part of the Society’s award-winning Youth Volunteer Corps and to bring several programs—Zoo Adventure Passport, Kids’ Club, and Green-CAP—to children and their families in underresourced Chicago-area neighborhoods.

"Continental Toyota has been serving the surrounding communities of Brookfield Zoo for the past 50 years and is honored to be a part of the presentation,” said Cheryl Nelson, dealer principal for Continental Toyota. “The zoo is a wonderful organization that has been a highlight for many people throughout the years. Congratulations to Brookfield Zoo."

Initially, Toyota received 5,000 applicants from organizations that submitted essays about their need for a new vehicle. The Chicago Zoological Society made the cut to 1,000 for final consideration and then was one of 500 organizations chosen by an independent panel of judges, who are experts in the fields of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Each day from May 9 through August 16, 2011, five organizations were profiled on Toyota's Facebook page, where the public was invited to show their support by voting to determine the winning nonprofit organization. The Chicago Zoological Society was one of the five organizations highlighted for voting on August 8. About a week after the voting, CZS staff were notified that the organization received the most votes on that day. The remaining finalists each received a $1,000 grant from Toyota.

In celebration of this special venture with the Chicago Zoological Society and compliments of Continental Toyota, every new or used vehicle sold on Friday, November 25, or Saturday, November 26, will come with a one-year Brookfield Zoo Family Plus Membership—just in time for the holidays!