In October of 2009, David and Jaimi Romans tragically lost their nine-month-old son Will to H1N1. Will was a beautiful, playful, happy little boy who loved the Minnesota Zoo. “The Zoo reminds us of happy times we spent with our son William as he giggled and laughed, pointing at all the animals,” says David, a Medical Director at Unity Hospital Emergency Department with Allina Health and also a trustee of the Minnesota Zoo Foundation.
In Will’s honor, David and Jaimi wanted to do something that would ensure access to all children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to visit the Zoo. After much thought, planning, and a lot of volunteer help, the William David Romans Endowment Fund was created to celebrate Will’s life.
The fund provides economically-challenged, culturally-diverse K-2nd grade students with free admission to the Minnesota Zoo through a Zoo Safari experience, as well as Zoomobile visits to area hospitals.
“The Minnesota Zoo is important to us because it’s a place where children find awe, wonder and laughter and can be inspired to learn about the world they live in,” continues David. “We feel fortunate to be a part of it.”