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Noah's Ark vying for $50,000 education grant

File Photo: Shere Khan, the tiger (from left), Leo, the African lion, and Baloo, the black bear, are among the animals living at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children’s Care Home, in Locust Grove. The trio is serving as the inspiration for the facility’s effort to obtain grant funding through the Pepsi Refresh project. 

File Photo: Shere Khan, the tiger (from left), Leo, the African lion, and Baloo, the black bear, are among the animals living at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children’s Care Home, in Locust Grove. The trio is serving as the inspiration for the facility’s effort to obtain grant funding through the Pepsi Refresh project. 

Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center, Inc., in Locust Grove, is asking for the public’s help in its quest to receive additional funding for programs dedicated to teaching the community about social diversity.

The non-profit organization has been accepted as one of hundreds of organizations to potentially earn funding through the Pepsi Refresh Project for 2011. Noah’s Ark operates an animal rehabilitation center and children’s care home.

The grant project, part of Pepsi’s Refresh Everything initiative, funds endeavors in several areas, including education. Noah’s Ark applied for a share of the money to assist its programs regarding social harmony, humane ethics, and wildlife conservation.

Carrie Radcliffe applied to Pepsi Refresh as a grant coordinator, on behalf of Noah’s Ark. She said the grant funding is based on voting by members of the public. Voting is set to end on Dec. 30.

“If Noah’s Ark collects enough votes, it is eligible for $50,000 to fund our BLT Diversity initiative,” said Radcliffe.

The BLT Diversity Program was inspired by three animals, who co-exist as a family group, at Noah’s Ark — an American black bear, named Baloo, an African lion, named Leo, and a tiger, named Shere Khan.

“As far as we know, there’s nowhere else in the world that a trio like this exists,” said Allison Hedgecoth, animal husbandry manager, who is responsible for caring for the animals at Noah’s Ark.

“It would almost be an injustice not to use this to teach people about social harmony and diversity,” she said. “If a lion, tiger and bear can get along, then, surely we can, as the human race.”

The Pepsi Refresh Project awarded more than $20 million in 2010, to move communities forward by helping organizations that “generate innovative, optimistic ideas,” Hedgecoth added.

Noah’s Ark supporters are asked to visit Pepsi’s Refresh Everything web site, at www.refresheverything.com/noahs-ark, and vote, daily, for the Locust Grove facility to be chosen for funding.

For more information, e-mail theroar@noahs-ark.org.