Elks do everything from coordinating with principals and teachers to providing transportation, zoo admission and lunch for everyone on the trip. Additionally, each child who attends receives a t-shirt reading "I spent the day at the zoo with an Elk!" (Pictured here: the Elks who volunteered their day.)
The annual event grew as the Elks added more area schools to the trip. This year, 163 children attended! About 20 Elks volunteer each year, but the whole Lodges pitches in to help with funding. Members help cover the field trip costs by donating items to the annual Lodge auction.
"The zoo trip is a highlight of the year," says Project Manager Steve Cummings. "The kids and Elks have a great time."
Above, these girls get up close and personal with a friendly giraffe.