Member News

Leeds Project Heart to help Zoological Society
Michigan City, IN
07/31/2020 01:47 PM

“Our Leeds Project Heart has an even bigger role now that many nonprofits around the region cannot hold their annual events, which not only bring funding, but also awareness,” said Leeds Public House owner Denise Burns. “Our enhanced monthly community initiative donates 50 percent of proceeds from a special drink as well as helps spread the word about what the organization needs today.” 

Leeds Project Heart’s fundraising component was changed up when the Michigan City restaurant was able to open its doors again. The shift to a monthly avenue brings in Libations for Donations, allowing for further opportunities to provide financial assistance. 

Throughout August, a uniquely crafted cocktail will support the Washington Park Zoological Society. Jake's Jungle Juice is a blend of Sugar Island Spiced Rum,
Aperol, Fresh Lime Juice, Pineapple Juice and Agave Syrup.

“The Washington Park Zoological Society is a nonprofit membership organization that supports the mission of the zoo. It's a separate volunteer group whose purpose is to generate public interest, promote, raise funds for acquisition of animals (many are rescue animals), veterinary expenses, improvements for the zoo facilities and acquiring grants,” said Zoological Society President Johnny Stimley. “COIVD has impacted us with the cancelation of some of our bigger fundraisers, such as Brew at the Zoo and Zoobilee, and all zoo camps. In addition, the Zoo has been closed for many months this year and when it was open, it was limited to 50 percent occupancy.”

The featured drink’s moniker is a nod to the Zoo’s roots. The Washington Park Zoo was launched in 1925 with a retired animal trainer wanting his pet Brown Bear, Jake, to make new friends. Jake was moved to the Washington Park lakefront and the public began flocking to see him, which led to the creation of the Zoo. Jake is remembered with a statue that greets guests today. 

“The Zoo is truly a region gem that has entertained generations of kids and adults,” Burns said. “We, as a community, are showing our support to ensure that the Zoo is around for many more years.”

Stimley said the community can get involved by donating, purchasing memberships or sponsorships, and volunteering. The Zoo staff also maintains a wish list of items that the zoo needs for the animals. For more information, visit 

Leeds is always looking for new nonprofits to spotlight through its monthly Leeds Project Heart. To become a part of the community-focused initiative, contact Leeds General Manager Dave Roberts at 219-814-4530 or

Leeds Public House, 401 Franklin St., centers on local and fresh ingredients that are crafted into a flavorful menu while serving up specialty cocktails, local and regional brews, and weekly specials. At home in a 100-plus-year-old building, the Michigan City spot strives to be a neighborhood beacon that enlivens the historic downtown with an eclectic vibe, outdoor patio, indoor and outdoor bars as well as vigorous community spirit.

The Leeds Project Heart Libations for Donations is Jake's Jungle Juice. The Leeds team will donate 50 percent of drink sales in August to the Washington Park Zoological Society.

Denise Burns
Powered By CC-Assist.NET

Upcoming Events

Premier Sponsors