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Volunteers fix up Abilene Zoo in preparation for anniversary

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ABILENE, Texas - A group of dedicated volunteers braved the heat Wednesday to help spruce up the Abilene Zoo. With the zoo's 50th anniversary coming up this weekend, the volunteers hope the new makeover will bring a few more visitors for festivities.

"Hopefully we can contribute in a way that can allow the zoo to stay open and bless a lot of people for the next few years," said Jay Fellers, the human resources manager at the south side Lowe's in Abilene.

The volunteers are all with Lowe's Home Improvement. The group of about 15 men and women called themselves Lowe's Heroes, and they spent the day taking care of dirty work at the zoo. They cleaned exhibits, sanded and painted railings, and worked to improve the concession stands.

Fellers told KTXS News that the store is given funds every year to specifically give back to the community. This year, they picked the Abilene Zoo.

"The zoo's 50th anniversary has a lot to do with that," Fellers said. "Plus we have a lot of people in our community that just love our zoo. So it was a great opportunity for us to come out and give back to the community in a way we know it's going to be used."

The volunteers came as a welcome surprise for zoo staff.

"Oh it's very good, especially this time of year when its summer. It's the busiest time for us so everyone is running around taking care of animals and taking care of the guests," said John Black, the Abilene Zoo's business operation manager. "Any help is appreciated in every form and manner."

The volunteers will be working through Thursday, if you'd like to help volunteer you can show up at the zoo Thursday morning or contact the store at 325-692-2727 and ask for Jay Fellers.

As for the 50 th anniversary festivities, the zoo has a lot planned for Saturday. Children aged 12 and under will get in the gate for just 10 cents, the price they paid back in 1966. There will be a commencement declaring the day as Abilene Zoo Day with free cupcakes while they last, an alligator bounce house, live music from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and feeding opportunities for some of the animals.

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