AZA News Releases

‘In This Together’ T-shirt Fundraising Campaign Launches Today to Benefit AZA-Accredited Zoo and Aquarium Community

This relief effort is made possible by Event Network, sustainable apparel maker Kastlfel, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Event Network, the leading retail partner to cultural attractions across North America, together with sustainable apparel maker Kastlfel, jointly announce their “In This Together” T-shirt fundraiser benefiting the Employee Relief Fund. The Fund supports members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), nearly all of whom have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and related venue closures. These special T-shirts are available in Adult and Kid sizes beginning May 18, 2020 via the Kastlfel web shop at: Every purchase includes a free, recycled poly/cotton blend washable face mask.

Supporting the Zoo and Aquarium Community

“We devised this program to help mobilize support for the zoo and aquarium community as a whole, and to inspire hope and optimism for the continuity of our beloved institutions,” said Andrea Froehle, VP of Marketing & Communications of Event Network. “Many zoo and aquarium keepers, veterinarians and workers continue to care for their animals despite financial pressures from Covid-19 closures, and their commitment is truly heroic and deserving of recognition and support.  We all look forward to returning to these life-affirming places, and it is due to the loving perseverance of these professionals that we will be able to.”

The exclusive T-shirt design reinforces the theme/anthem “In This Together.” The colorful graphic depicts treasured wildlife and ocean life circling the globe to promote solidarity among the entire AZA community of zoos and aquariums and the interconnectedness we share as one world. 

In keeping with Event Network and Kastlfel’s commitment to sustainability, the eco-friendly shirt is made from certified recycled polyester and cotton printed with PVC-free water base ink. 

“It’s our privilege to do what we can to support these valued facilities. As an organization, we feel lucky to serve this industry on the retail supplier side, and being involved in this effort by doing what we’re best at is our way of showing our gratitude,” said Jerry Wheeler CEO at Kastlfel. “If the Covid-19 Crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we are all connected – humans, animals, plants, the environment – all of it. Supporting one another through this time is the only way to ensure we all continue to flourish.” 

This is not the first time the two companies have joined forces to support a worthwhile cause.  Event Network and Kastlfel teamed up last year to create their Transitional Cotton Project, dedicated to advancing the growth of organic cotton farming.

About the AZA’s Employee Relief Fund

Standing together as an accredited zoological community, AZA is committed to promoting animal welfare, conservation efforts, and scientific education. Net proceeds from each purchase go directly to the Employee Relief Fund. The fund was established by AZA for employees of AZA-accredited facilities and their families in times of need. The fund remains an essential means of supporting the community through the Covid-19 Crisis, especially for those zoo and aquarium professionals who continue care for their animals through these challenging times.

“Our community has never faced a crisis like this before, and it is often remarked you find out who your friends are in a crisis,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “I am very grateful for our friend, Event Network, taking our “In This Together” idea and turning it into a way to raise money for the thousands of workers facing hardships while continuing to care for the animals at their facilities. I look forward to getting one soon!”

This emergency relief effort is made possible by Association of Zoos and Aquariums, sustainable apparel maker and AZA commercial member Kastlfel, and AZA Commercial Member Engagement Council Partner, Event Network.


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