Peery Foundation to help raise funds for Junior Museum

Matching-gift challenge will help rebuild the museum and zoo

The board of directors of the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo announced Monday that it is partnering with the Peery Foundation to create a matching-gift challenge to help rebuild the museum and zoo as part of the Master Planning project for Rinconada Park, according to a press release.

Size and terms of the gift as well as the scale of the fundraising campaign are under discussion and will most likely be announced after the summer, said John Aiken, executive director of the Junior Museum & Zoo.

"It's a major milestone in the history of the institution," Aiken said. "It's now over 78 years old and is in need of upgrading. The Friends have stepped forward to take a leadership role in raising the funds for that."

Aiken said the board's next step is to negotiate a letter of intent with the city of Palo Alto to "make sure everybody is on the same page in terms of what this means for a remodel."

"I've come to learn that this institution has endured in Palo Alto for reasons – it's a community that's highly educated, has resources to support children and science, and I think it's a very exciting time to be looking at a rebuild because of the opportunities that new construction technologies and animal management routines, in animal collections as well as museums, are going to allow us to do something really special for the children."

Initial fundraising efforts have included donations from the late Carmen Christensen, an initial contribution by the Peery Foundation, annual support from more than 150,000 visitors each year, as well as a membership of 250 households, according to the press release.

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Like this comment
Posted by nice to see
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2013 at 10:38 am

It is nice to see the Peery foundation recognized. They have been mostly silent partners in a wide variety of public/private works around town that provide many services to our children. Thanks to the Peery family.

Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

I have taken my children and now grandchildren to this little jewel of Palo Alto, but even "jewels" need sprucing up from time to time. I'm so grateful to the Peery family and their selfless and generous donations to keep the Peninsula the special place that it is.

Like this comment
Posted by paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Many thanks to the Peery family for their generosity!

This should be a model for many of our beloved institutions in Palo Alto, including the Children's Theater. The City provides the building, private contributions take care of the rest.

Like this comment
Posted by Wondering
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Wasn't there a major remodel just a few years ago when they installed that goofy sign?

Like this comment
Posted by Gail
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I love the wimsical, Junior Museum and Zoo sign, located on Middlefield Road. Thank you Peery family for your generosity toward families and children in Palo Alto.

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