Special-needs kids, families enjoy free day at the zoo

Providence sponsors free zoo visit for children with special health-care needs

A special group of kids received the VIP treatment at the Oregon Zoo last week. On Thursday, May 29, the zoo welcomed hundreds of children with special health-care needs to a free, fun-filled afternoon sponsored by Providence Children's Health.

Through its Swindells Resource Center, Providence distributed 700 tickets to parents and caregivers of children with special needs, developmental delays or disabilities throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. Swindell's provides resources, training and support for families with children with special needs.

"The Oregon Zoo is a place where people of all abilities can share moments of discovery and inspiration," said Teri Dresler, interim zoo director. "Thanks to Providence's generous support, more of our community was able visit, learn about wildlife and have a fun time at the zoo."

ZooGuide volunteers were stationed throughout the grounds, providing animal facts and activities to enhance the families' experiences.