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Thank you for your interest in hosting your local 22q the Zoo event! This extraordinary event grows every year because of dedicated volunteers like you. On behalf of The International 22q11.2 Foundation, Inc. we would like to thank you for joining us as we expand awareness of the 22q11.2 differences. 22q at the Zoo Worldwide Awareness Day continues to grow each year with hundreds of locations spanning the globe and close to 10,000 participants worldwide. This year we would like to increase this number and we cannot do this without your help!

Guidelines and a Step-By-Step Process

To insure maximum success and awareness, the International 22q11.2 Foundation has developed guidelines for 22q at the Zoo worldwide awareness day. These guidelines are intended to create consistency from event to event and from year to year which will lead to increased impact.

As always, the event does not need to be elaborate; the purpose is simply to raise awareness.

Contact the International 22q11.2 Foundation

Before planning your event, please send an email to info@22q.org to confirm that you are willing to act as a coordinator for the event and that we can post your first name and email on our website. In your email please include the following:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your mailing address (we will mail you fact sheets, and other materials for your event)
  • The name of your zoo or location for your event

Find Other People to Help Organize

  • Find someone to help take the lead for your event at a local zoo, aquarium, or park.
  • Consider asking a friend or fellow 22q parent to help you plan and organize the event.
  • Reach out to others on Facebook, email, and/or through local hospital clinics.

Reach out to Zoo Staff

  • Download the Event Planner Letter and update the letter with your information.
  • Print out the letter and mail or email it to the Public Events coordinator or other staff member at your zoo.
  • Follow up with a phone call. Sometimes they are slow to return phone calls. Don’t give up.
  • Let zoo staff know you represent an IRS-certified, nonprofit and that this will be an awareness event and not a fundraiser.
  • Ask about discounted group rates and secure the ticket cost for your event.
  • Inform zoo staff that the event is part of a worldwide event and they may get increased visitation and possibly media coverage.
  • Remind zoo staff that the event is educational and you will not solicit zoo visitors or sell anything. Confirm with the zoo that it is ok to distribute fact sheets on the 22q.

Plan the Details of Your Event

  • Choose a designated time and meeting spot at the zoo so that you can meet up with other local families.
  • Consider having a fun activity during the two-hour span so people will have something to do before heading off to see the animals. Some ideas include:
    • Face Painting
    • Music
  • Plan for lunch with purchase or brown bag options, depending on the cost and zoo regulations.

Advice For Families

Family to family contact and information sharing is essential for the well-being of the 22q community. Some of the families attending a zoo event will be recently diagnosed and/or meeting other families for the first time. In addition to sharing your own experience, please encourage all families to contact the Foundation where they can be directed to the most up-to-date information.

Download and Print Materials

  • Fact Sheets, brochures, flyers and other materials provided by the Foundation should be distributed and visible at your event. We encourage you to also provide literature about local services that will benefit the 22q community. (e.g. schools, centers, groups, etc.)
  • Print out and have Sign-In Sheets available. It is very important that: a) One person be assigned to make sure the sheets are readily available and visible, b) Guests are requested to sign-in, c) the sheets are collected and sent to the ­International 22q11.2 Foundation (info@22q.org) following the event by postal mail or scanning and email, for inclusion in our database. We recommend printing out more than enough copies – just in case.
  • Print out and have Photo/Video release forms available to get permission to share photos and videos on social media
  • Take lots of photos and videos so that the fun can be shared worldwide! Please post them on our Facebook group listed above and follow as we wrap the world with 22q.

Representing the Foundation

Thank you for serving as a representative of the Foundation during this very important event! We appreciate your conducting yourselves in a professional manner throughout. You and your team of volunteers are providing a great service and advancing the time when all impacted families are properly diagnosed and provided the best available treatments.


All large event signage is requested to include a byline of “An International 22q11.2 Foundation Worldwide Awareness Event – www.22q.org” and smaller signage to show “International 22q11.2 Foundation – www.22q.org.” If your group is an established nonprofit, we encourage you to include a byline of “An International 22q11.2 Foundation Worldwide Awareness Event – www.22q.org in partnership with ­­___(add your organization name here) ________” and smaller signage to show “International 22q11.2 Foundation – www.22q.org. In partnership with _____(add your organization name here) ______”


Soliciting donations at the zoo is prohibited. However, the 22q at the Zoo event is an important friend-raiser and could potentially be a fundraiser for the International 22q11.2 Foundation. We welcome any non-zoo related donations. Please encourage any interested donors to send a check to the Foundation at:
Intl. 22q11.2 Foundation
PO Box 532
Matawan, NJ 07747
or donate online at www.22q.org/donate

Purchase T-Shirts

  • The day of the event, we request that all event volunteers wear the official 22q at the Zoo T-shirt created by The International 22q11.2 Foundation, Inc. In an effort to save cost, past years’ shirts are also acceptable.
  • T-shirts — Make sure you order T-shirts by the deadline date. (Please note: the deadlines for ordering are different for locations inside and outside the USA)

Sell Tickets to Your Event

  • Decide if you will be directing families to purchase their own zoo shirts and zoo tickets the day of the event or if you will handle selling the zoo tickets for a group discount.
  • For smaller groups or your first time organizing, we suggest having families purchase their own T-shirts and zoo tickets.
  • If you are fortunate enough to negotiate a discounted group rate, you may choose to purchase a set amount of tickets based on local interest and also purchase the zoo shirts in bulk for your group. You would then set a price that would include zoo entrance, T-shirts, and perhaps even food or face-painting fees. This way your event will be paid for by the ticket price.
  • Sell tickets in advance so everyone in attendance is guaranteed to be wearing the World Wide Awareness T-shirt throughout the day. (Consider ordering a few extra T-shirts just in case there are walk-ins on the day of the event).

Promote the Event

Logo and Brand Policy
The name “22q at the Zoo” and the 22q at the Zoo logo are trademarks of the International 22q11.2 Foundation (the “Marks”). Once you have officially registered your city and zoo with the Foundation, you will be authorized to use the name of the event and given access to the official 22q at the zoo logo in high resolution graphics. You may use the name and logo on flyers and banners. Modification of the name or logo, or use of either in any way not previously authorized without the express written consent of the International 22q11.2 Foundation is prohibited.

The Foundation will have the right to receive documentation, upon reasonable written request, of your use of the Marks and the goods and/or services provided in connection with the Marks. If you are not using the Marks in accordance with the Foundations instructions or in a way that meets its standards and policies as may be reasonably set from time to time by the Foundation, the Foundation may require you to stop using the Marks. This policy is in place because it is our intent to make the event stronger by improving the consistency and impact of the branding.

Download the Sponsorship Letter and find local businesses and organizations to support your 22q at the Zoo event.

We will send you an electronic flyer to print out once you are confirmed. You may use this flyer to promote the event in medical clinics, schools, coffee shops or any place you desire as well as sharing it through email.

Press Release
Download the Press Release HERE and edit it to reflect your event. Send it to your local newspaper(s), television stations, radio stations and other media outlets approximately two weeks before the event and make a reminder call a day or two prior.

Local media love good public interest stories!

Social Media
Build excitement and momentum by posting about your event or joining our 22q at the Zoo Facebook group and posting about your event!

Be a 22q Citizen Journalist!

Whenever you hold events or fundraising campaigns in your community — please be a citizen journalist and take photos, write descriptions and share with your local news media such as newspapers, magazines and television.

Here are a few suggestions for your work:

  • Post your group and individual photos
  • Include photo captions and short descriptions of activities
  • Show the world our collective smile!
  • Through your pictures and words we will create a digital time capsule worldwide 22q events!

Also, don’t forget to share your photos on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and email them to the Foundation at info@22q.org so we can share them!

Use the Hashtag: #22q and @22qFoundation

Summary Checklist

Download this Summary Checklist to make sure all aspects of your event are finalized.

If you have any further questions, concerns or problems, please contact us at info@22q.org. We are here to help you every step of the way.

Donate Today

At the International 22q11.2 Foundation we help families that need important resources and information to meet the needs of loved ones with 22q.