When the Zoo opened in 1978, Dennis joined the Zoo’s talented crew of “Blue Shirt” volunteers. For the next 25 years, he volunteered two Sundays a month, helping Zoo guests of all ages with their questions. Today, Dennis is retired and enjoys the majestic landscape and his beautiful garden at his Colorado home, but he returns to Minnesota each spring to see old friends and visit favorite places like the Zoo.
His love of the Zoo inspired Dennis to give generously through current and future gifts. In addition to providing annual fund gifts, Dennis created a Charitable Gift Annuity with the Minnesota Zoo Foundation. It allowed him to donate an asset (such as shares of stock or cash from a matured CD) and replace the modest dividend or interest he was receiving with a fixed income from the Zoo Gift Annuity, which lasts for life. “I still need regular income, and I like that a portion of the Gift Annuity income is tax free,” Dennis points out. “After my life, the rest of my gift is there to support the Zoo.”
Through his planned gift, Dennis joined the growing Circle of Life Society, to help ensure the Zoo’s vitality in years to come. His philosophy? “I have benefited mightily from organizations like the Zoo that have helped shaped my life and world view, so I have tried to “pay it back.” With his planned gift, Dennis is also able to “pay it forward” for future generations.