Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks is joined by members of the Dalmath family in front of an artist's rendering of the future Elephant Splash Pool and Gabe Dalmath Elephant Overlook.
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks joined the Seneca Park Zoo Society and Seneca Park Zoo officials to announce that thanks to the support of the community, the Experience Great Things fundraising campaign has reached its $250,000 goal. The money will be used to help build a splash pool for African elephants Genny C. and Lilac.
“From children to adults, to community groups and area businesses, many stepped forward to support this campaign. Thanks to their efforts and generosity, we will now be able to build a splash pool for Genny C. and Lilac and make their new home even better,” said Brooks. “The pool will enhance the quality of life for Genny C. and Lilac, while also giving visitors a close-up view of our two elephants as they play in the water.”
Brooks also announced that they have decided to honor in a very special way the leadership of campaign co-chair Gabe Dalmath, who passed away in September. A sign was unveiled reading “Future Home of the Elephant Splash Pool and Gabe Dalmath Elephant Overlook”. Gabe’s wife Jean Dalmath, who served as co-chair along with Gabe, was on hand for the unveiling, along with their daughter Amanda and Gabe’s mom Kate.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Gabe Dalmath, who along with his wife Jean, served as chair of the Experience Great Things campaign,” Brooks added. “Gabe would be very pleased we have reached our goal, and grateful to all those who helped. We too are grateful, for Gabe’s work on this campaign and for all he did to make our community a better place.”
“Helping make the Zoo an even more popular destination for families and a great home for the animals meant a lot to Gabe,” said Jean Dalmath, co-chair of the Experience Great Things campaign. “This was one of the last public service projects he was involved with. I know he would have been so touched and honored to be remembered for his work on behalf of the Elephant Exhibit and the Seneca Park Zoo.”
Brooks also thanked the Zoo’s six SpokesKids and Experience Great Things Committee members for all their hard work and support.
“The Seneca Park Zoo Society’s Board of Trustees and staff wish to thank the many campaign contributors who supported this exciting addition to the Elephant Exhibit,” said Rachel Baker August, Seneca Park Zoo Society Executive Director. “Genny C. and Lilac are so fortunate to have incredible private and public support for their watering hole. We thank Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and the campaign committee, and we honor Gabe Dalmath’s commitment to this effort.”
“It is wonderful to have the community show their support for this project, which will enhance the quality of life for Genny C. and Lilac, and be of great enjoyment to Zoo visitors,” said Larry Sorel, Seneca Park Zoo Director. “The ability to play in the splash pool will add variety to the elephants’ lives and encourage natural behaviors.”
Construction of the splash pool is expected to begin next year. It will be located at the south end of the elephant yard. The splash pool will hold approximately 50,000 gallons of water, up to five feet deep. It will feature a sloping entrance that resembles a watering hole in their native environment. Located just 15 feet away from Zoo visitors, the splash pool will afford an unobstructed, close-up view of Genny C. and Lilac as they play in the water.
The Elephant Exhibit opened in April 2006. In September 2006, the Time Warner Cable Elephant Atrium
officially opened. The splash pool will be the final piece of the exhibit.