Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo Presents Karamu XXVII, An Exotic Evening of Light, Inspired by a Chinese Lantern Celebration


Karamu chairs Karessa Lasher and Paola Schifino Karamu chairs Karessa Lasher and Paola Schifino Karamu XXVII will benefit the Manatee Hospital



This spring, visitors to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo will be immersed into a radiant sea of lights for Zoominations, A Chinese Lantern Festival. This illuminating experience inspired the theme for the Zoo’s annual signature gala, Karamu, “an exotic evening of light,” on Saturday, April 11.


Karamu, from the Swahili word for “party,” has raised more than $3 million in support of animal care and education programs at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo over the last 27 years.


This year’s special evening is dedicated to one of Florida’s most iconic species, the endangered manatee. Funds raised will benefit the Zoo’s internationally-recognized manatee conservation program that provides critical care for injured, sick and orphaned wild manatees.


Karamu co-chairs Karessa Lasher and Paola Schifino are avid supporters of manatee conservation efforts.


I feel very honored to be involved with Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and Karamu,” noted Lasher. “As co-chair of this year’s Karamu, we are putting a focus on the conservation efforts of manatees — a cause that is near and dear to me and many of us here in the Tampa Bay area. Without the Zoo’s Manatee Hospital, many of these beloved animals would not survive their injuries or illnesses. We need your help and support in saving our manatees.”


Schifino added, “Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has nursed over 200 manatees back to health, spending $1 million dollars a year on critical care and receiving minimal public funds. This year’s Karamu will benefit the Manatee Hospital and should help close the financial gap. Please help us support the Zoo in its conservation efforts so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy earth’s bountiful gifts.”


To date, the Zoo’s David A. Straz Jr. Manatee Hospital has taken in more than 360 manatees for care, and reintroduced more than 200 into Florida waters.


Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo gratefully acknowledges presenting sponsor Regions Bank and entertainment sponsor Raymond James, who make Karamu possible.



To inquire about attending or supporting the event,

email Gifts@LowryParkZoo.org

or call (813) 935-8552 ext. 225.





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