Couple Loves Volunteering and Zoo Trips, and That Leads to Gift in Will

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Paula Susemichel and Linda Daley in Botswana.
Photo credit: Glenn Stroup

Paula Susemichel loves her service as a volunteer with the Indianapolis Zoo, and that has led to a gift in her will. Her interest began more than 13 years ago when her spouse, Linda Daley, began serving as a volunteer. “Linda’s dream had been to work with big cats, and she was able to serve them as a volunteer. Her enjoyment led me to volunteer a few years later,” said Paula.

Paula’s great joy from her volunteer service is that she is able to educate and influence Zoo guests. She loves the fact that she can always be a student and learn something at every opportunity, and she loves to share these experiences with guests as a volunteer and a teacher.  “If they can see the end game within these exhibits (animal conservation), guests are likely to make better decisions with their actions—and this has a multiplying effect on others,” noted Paula.

When Paula and Linda ventured out on their first Zoo trip to Tanzania in 2004, their interest in the Zoo kicked into a higher gear—leading them to become not only hooked on wildlife travel, but to also become involved as Zoo donors and with other Zoo trips. “Supporting the Zoo with our money and time is important. Money is a practical tool to sustain the mission and a way of paying back for our experiences. Volunteer time is a similar expression of support, allowing us to remain engaged with the Zoo at a high level,” she remarked.

“I retired last year and revisited my long-term plans. Our respect for the Zoo and its mission made it an organization high on our list for bequest support,” Paula shared when asked why she provided for the Zoo in her estate plan. “Animal conservation is an ongoing journey that will outlast me, and this is why
I plan to make a long-term impact through my estate.”

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