Date: September 9 2008Contact: Mike McClanahanASHEBORO N.C.— After a night of dancing dining and spirited bidding on items ranging from furniture and pottery to art and exotic vacations “Zoo To Do 2008” raised 191000 to support the North Carolina Zoo’s elephant and rhinoceros expansion project—Project: Pachyderms. A sold-out crowd of more than 1000 attended this year’s 25th anniversary gala and Randolph Telephone pledged 30000 as signature sponsor for the ninth straight year. For the first time “Zoo To Do” took place under tents to protect the event from unpredictable Hurricane Hannah. “Even though Hurricane Hannah kept us guessing for a while “Zoo To Do 2008” was a tremendous success thanks to dedicated and generous support from Randolph Telephone corporate friends artists donors and more than 1000 patrons who came out to enjoy the event” Russ Williams Zoo Society Executive Director said. Held September 6 “Zoo To Do 2008” featured live entertainment fine cuisine and live and silent auctions. The live auction this year generated 54350. Examples of live auction items and bids include 8500 for a painting created by one of the N.C. Zoo’s chimpanzees and 7000 for a crystalline vase donated by acclaimed potter Phil Morgan.Randolph Friends of the Zoo a group of volunteers who organize the event pledged 2 million in support for Project: Pachyderms from recent “Zoo To Do’s.” Funds generated from this year’s event completed that pledge.Project: Pachyderms is the Zoo Society’s campaign to support the new Watani Grasslands Reserve. The facility which opened in April of this year features larger elephant and rhino herds improved off-exhibit holding areas educational exhibits and a visitor experience that includes an up-close almost eye-to-eye view of the largest land animals on the planet. More than 7.2 million has been raised toward a 7.5 million goal for Project: Pachyderms.The North Carolina Zoological Society is the private non-profit organization that supports the North Carolina Zoo and conservation. The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources William G. Ross Jr. Secretary; Michael F. Easley Governor.###