Valero's $3 million gift to SA Zoo will help fund field trips for underprivileged schools

SAN ANTONIO – On Monday, Valero presented the San Antonio Zoo with a $3 million check that will fund educational initiatives, including programs that will benefit local kids.

The $3 million endowment was presented in a ceremony at the San Antonio Zoo on Monday.

"Today we got an amazing gift from Valero, one of our community partners here in San Antonio," Tim Morrow, CEO of the San Antonio Zoo, said. "It's an endowment for $3 million and those funds are going to be used to get more children to the zoo on field trips -- especially under privileged school districts and schools that can't always afford to come on field trips."

Morrow said the biggest challenge in getting kids to the zoo for field trips is the cost of busses and the endowment will help with that financial hurdle.

"It's very important for kids," Morrow said. "Children today don't spend as much time outside as maybe our generation did. We're getting them outside, connected to these animals that are quickly disappearing from the wild and learning about conservation efforts and why conservation is so critical on our planet." 

Gary Simmons, Valero's senior vice president of supply said Valero created the endowment with the hope of giving families who lack the means to go to the zoo an opportunity to go and experience nature.