MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) – Kohl’s Department Stores has announced a $1.5 million donation over three years to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County to continue the Kohl’s Wild Theater program at the Milwaukee County Zoo - a live, interactive, participatory theater that uses drama, puppetry and songs to bring conservation messages to children and families.
The funding will allow Kohl’s Wild Theater to expand its show repertoire to include a total of 15 unique shows, add new puppets for stage and exhibit performances, and make improvements to the stage and theater area at the zoo, including a raised stage floor, shaded stage area and a theater green room for the cast.
The donation comes from the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program, which sells special merchandise, including plush toys and books, and donates 100 percent of the net profit to benefit children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.
Recognized as one of the country’s finest zoological attractions, the Milwaukee County Zoo serves more than 1.3 million people each year. Through an initial $1 million donation from Kohl’s Cares in 2010, the Kohl’s Wild Theater program was created and has quickly grown to become the country’s largest zoo theater program. Kohl’s Wild Theater performances are free with admission to all zoo attendees. Performing teams also travel to schools and local community events at no charge.
“Kohl’s is proud to continue our partnership with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County to bring lessons about conservation, wildlife and natural animal habitats to life for Wisconsin kids,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The Milwaukee County Zoo is a well-known family destination in our hometown community, and at Kohl’s we share their commitment to enriching the lives of area children and families through educational programming like Kohl’s Wild Theater.”
The Kohl’s Wild Theater program consists of two main components:
“Kohl’s Wild Theater has become one of the best zoo theater programs in the country thanks to Kohl’s tremendous support,” said Dr. Bert Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County. “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Kohl’s and provide quality programming designed to inspire children to care more about conservation and learn ways to help animals.”
Since 2000, Kohl’s Department Stores together with Kohl’s Cares have combined to give more than $58 million to support charitable initiatives in the metro-Milwaukee area, including $2.5 million to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County.