• More Than 6,600 Penguin Champs Dash Through the WCS Bronx Zoo at the 3rd Annual WCS Run for the Wild
  • Danielle Rosario, Bronx, N.Y. – First woman to cross the finish line 
  • Chris Bauer, Seacliff, N.Y. – First man to cross the finish line   
  • Team Aghelos from Port Washington, Long Island – top fundraiser

Bronx, N.Y. – April 30, 2011 – More than 6,600 penguin champs ran, jogged, and walked through the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, for the third annual WCS Run for the Wild – a 5K event to raise money to save penguins and other wildlife.
At the head of the pack was this year’s winner, Chris Bauer, from Seacliff, NY, who crossed the finish line with a time of 15:40. The top three men and top three women finishers were:
Danielle Rosario from Bronx, N.Y. -- 18:51
Caroline Heidt from Suffern, N.Y. -- 19:21
Dori Kirzner from Stanford, Conn., -- 19:50
Chris Bauer from Seacliff, N.Y. -- 15:40
Arthur Fortin from Bronx, N.Y. -- 16:42
Stefan Judex from Port Jefferson, N.Y. -- 17:40
Anyone who did not participate in the run can still contribute to WCS. Donations can be made online at wcsrunforthewild.org or by texting “PENGUIN” to 69866 to give $10. (Messaging and data rates may apply.)
This year’s top fundraisers were the members of Team Aghelos who collectively raised more than $7,500.
Aghelos “Aggie” Kouvaras, a six-year-old first grader from South Salem Elementary in Port Washington, Long Island, has been in and out of the hospital for the past eight months receiving chemotherapy for a tumor that resulted from Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During his fight against cancer, Aghelos became passionate about the penguins and decided he wanted to help save the endangered species.

The sentiment inspired the Kouvaras family, his teachers and community, who formed Team Aghelos, to help him raise money for the WCS Run for the Wild. More than 80 members of Team Aghelos participated in today’s events.

“Aggie inspires us to stay focused on our work to save penguins and all wildlife and wild places,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “We thank Aggie, his supporters and all the penguin champs who made this year’s WCS Run for the Wild at the Bronx Zoo a great success. There was a lot of penguin passion here today.”
The Wildlife Conservation Society works around the globe to save wildlife and wild places. Changing climate, overfishing, and habitat loss are some of the factors affecting penguin populations. Of the world's 17 penguin species, 12 are experiencing serious population declines with some facing extinction within the 21st century. WCS is committed to ensuring a future for penguins where they live, including Punta Tombo on the coast of Argentina, home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world.

Participants were encouraged to seek donations and received Penguin Perks for their efforts. For $30 in donations, runners will earn a Run for the Wild T-shirt; $100, a WCS penguin water bottle plus the T-shirt; $250, a limited edition Hard Rock Cafe pin, plus the T-shirt and water bottle; and $500 in pledges will earn a plush penguin, all other prizes, and a chance to name a penguin. For official results and details, visit wcsrunforthewild.org.
Upon finishing the run, all participants were encouraged to stick around and enjoy a beautiful day at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. Post-race activities included the zoo’s Animal Tales Extravaganza, which is already in full-swing with live performances on the New York Life Main Stage and special children’s book readings at the zoo’s Asia Plaza.
On Sunday, October 9, 2011, WCS will bring the WCS Run for the Wild to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island for the first time. Visit wcsrunforthewild.org/nyaquarium for more details and to vote which animal to run for – sharks, turtles, or walrus.
WCS’s Run for the Wild is made possible by the following generous sponsors:  

Presenting Sponsor:              
Con Edison
Featured Sponsors:               
Aquafina, Fisher-Price®, Montefiore
Supporting Sponsors:            
Anvil, Benjamin Moore, eStar, Hard Rock Cafe, Monroe College, Stonyfield Farm, UBS
Media Partners:                      
ABC7, Daily News, Z-100

Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org  

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.