On October 5, 2014, the United Methodist Men of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Monroe, Louisiana, will host the 10th Annual “To Do At The Zoo”, a church-wide celebration and fundraising event at Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo benefiting Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home. Last year’s event provided gift proceeds of $23,000 to the Children’s Home. But even more significantly, in total, St. Paul’s United Methodist Men have donated more than $128,000 to the Children’s Home since the first zoo event in 2005.


The event began when several members of St. Paul’s UMM felt called to organize a fun activity for the congregation that would also generate proceeds to benefit a worthy ministry. They chose Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, a provider of intensive residential care to 84 children with severe emotional and behavioral needs caused by crisis, trauma, abuse, and neglect.

The “To Do At The Zoo” is a highly anticipated annual event in the life of St. Paul’s and there is always a large crowd. St. Paul’s members and guests have the opportunity to tour the zoo before gathering under the zoo pavilion for food and entertainment. There are dozens of food booths featuring a wide variety of foods and dishes prepared by UMM members. The women of the church pitch in by preparing desserts.

A highlight of the event is the annual appearance of the very funny and talented Inky the Clown who entertains both kids and adults. In addition to Inky, church members take to the stage to entertain the crowd with a variety of musical performances and other talents.inky

Not only does the “To Do At The Zoo” event benefit the youth of the Children’s Home, but St. Paul’s also includes our youth, staff and their families in the event. Our youth especially enjoy the zoo animals, Inky the Clown, cotton candy, and the special grill that is set up to cook all the hamburgers and hot dogs they can eat.

Charitable contributions like those generated by the “To Do At The Zoo” are important to the Children’s Home because some of the most important services of the Home’s ministry are funded fully by donors. Pastoral care and many therapeutic recreational activities are the most visible examples of vital programs and services that positively impact the lives of troubled children and are provided only because of the hard work of the St. Paul’s UMM group and other partners, donors, and friends.

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