Dave Merritt, director of Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, said the contribution of a check for $7,500 from three electric cooperatives on Friday was a surprise to him. "It's like Christmas," he said.
Bruce Carlson, manager of Verendrye Electric Cooperative, presented the check to Ron Merritt, Minot Parks director. The presentation was made during Military day at the Zoo, an annual event held for military members and their families.
Carlson said the Verendrye Electric board of directors decided to make the contribution in commemoration of the cooperative's 75th anniversary that was celebrated earlier this year.
Ron Merritt, left, director of Minot Parks, holds a check for $7,500 contributed to Roosevelt Park Zoo by three electric cooperatives during Military Day at the Zoo Friday. Bruce Carlson, center, manager of Verendrye Electric Cooperative, shakes hands with Dave Merritt, zoo director. The money is for the zoo’s continued rebuilding after the 2011 flood.
He said they decided the zoo should get the anniversary gift because many of Verendrye's members and others use it and the funds can be used to rebuild the zoo after the 2011 flood.
Verendrye Electric gave $2,500 and another $2,500 each was matched, coming from Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Verendrye's generation cooperative, and CoBank, Verendrey's cooperative lender.
Dave Merritt said he wasn't sure yet how the money will be used, noting the zoo has numerous projects that it could be used for. "We'll figure out a good way to use it," he said.
Earlier this year, he said Verendrye Electric also gave money to the zoo.
Tom Rafferty, Verendrye's community relations manager, said the cooperative gave $1,600 from its Operation Roundup program for X-ray equipment for the zoo.