Raymond Wilson, of New Berlin, has lots of fond Zoo memories. There were the four times he camped out with his family during the Zoological Society's Snooze at the Zoo. "You're sleeping in your tent and hear all these strange noises from the animals that you don't hear in the day." There was the first time he heard the unforgettable roar of Themba, the Zoo's male lion. "It rattles your chest!" And, there was the satisfaction of helping the Zoological Society plan successful events for more than 12 years and raise money for its mission.
These experiences explain why Wilson continues to increase his involvement with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) since being transferred here from New York City in 1998 for a career opportunity. "After I arrived, one of our partners in the office asked if I'd be interested in getting involved with the Zoological Society." And he did, starting out as an Associate Board member helping with the Society's special events. Currently he serves on the ZSM Board of Directors. Wilson also joined the steering committee of the Simba Society, a group created by the ZSM to recognize donors who support the Zoological Society in a will or with a legacy gift. In addition, he and his wife, Kelly, became Simba Society members themselves. "Kelly and our three kids have gotten a lot out of the Zoo, and I want to make sure the institution continues to thrive into the future." he says. "I want my grandchildren to have the same experiences at the Zoo that my kids have had, and continue to have."
Simba Society members can bequeath legacy gifts to the Zoological Society in a variety of ways. The Wilsons designated a part of their estate to go to the Zoological Society because they believe strongly in the importance of the Zoo and the ZSM's mission. Ray Wilson says that making a legacy gift does more than just help the Zoo. "It helps Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin. When you make a legacy gift, you're supporting one of the key institutions that our state has to offer. Raymond Wilson is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.