A longtime friend of the area zoo, WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, La., is helping raise money for the Elephant Oasis Project. Decades ago, in what has become celebrated local history, WAFB’s on-air personality Buckskin Bill held a "Penny Drive" to bring the Baton Rouge Zoo its first elephant. The wildly successful drive raised enough money for two baby elephants, appropriately named Penny and Penny Too. The zoo, which receives nearly one-quarter of a million visitors each year, is now in need of an updated elephant education area. WAFB’s fundraising efforts for this project have been extensive, including the broadcast of news stories, promotional spots and the "WAFB Elephant Oasis Special," a live 90-minute broadcast that gave local schools, organizations and businesses the opportunity to make donations to the zoo on air. In addition to asking corporations for monetary contributions, the station created a five-minute DVD on how to raise money for the project and mailed it with a cover letter to all local area schools. WAFB also created an "Elephant Oasis" page on the station Web site. To date, more than $68,000 has been raised toward the final goal of $175,000, and WAFB continues its on-and off-air efforts to make the Elephant Oasis a reality.
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