All five living species of rhinos are threatened in the wild due to habitat loss and poaching for their horns, which are worth more than their weight in gold on the black market. Poaching rates have soared sky high, but there are thousands of dedicated, passionate rangers standing in between the rhinos and the poachers – and they need our help.
Each year, the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) raises funds through Bowling for Rhinos (BFR) events held across North America to support critical rhino conservation projects in the wild. This year, the Greater Cincinnati AAZK Chapter organized its inaugural BFR fundraiser, which took place on October 11 at Stone Lanes.
The turnout was fantastic! More than 160 people registered to bowl and even more showed up just to take part in the festivities. Even J.J. Hoover and Logan Andrusek of the Cincinnati Reds came out to show their support!
Beyond bowling, there were plenty of other opportunities for fun and fundraising. The chapter held a silent auction and raffle and sold t-shirts, chocolate bars and shot glasses, and the bar even offered special rhino-themed drinks. The Zoo’s Sumatran rhino mascot even showed up to meet and greet the bowlers.
In addition to the Zoo and Stone Lanes, the event drew in several other local businesses and individuals as sponsors. A huge thank you goes out to:
- Mac Paran
- Riverside Topsoil
- White Crane Tattoo
- The Emily and Mark Frolick Foundation
- Solid Training
- The Wallace Group Dentistry for Today
- Nancy Haas
- Liquid Sasquatch Pottery
- Listermann Brewery
- North College Hill Chiropractic Center
- T.J. Williams Electric Co.
- Norwood City Schools
- Gary’s Professional Dog Grooming
- Mike Dulaney
- Jeff Mitchell
All in all, the event pulled in more than $8,500! Every penny earned through BFR goes directly to field conservation efforts to protect all five endangered species of rhino. For example, in Indonesia, funds raised support Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) that safeguard Javan and Sumatran rhino populations in national parks. Dedicated wildlife rangers patrol the forests, arresting poachers and destroying snares and traps. And in Kenya, funds raised support the Lewa Conservancy’s Rhino Conservation Programme, which has been extremely successful in protecting black and white rhino populations.
The chapter is quite pleased with how the first annual BFR turned out. Thanks to all who showed their support. We hope you will come out and join us next year!