Bowling for Rhinos


The AAZK’s Bowling for Rhinos (BFR) Program provides animal keepers of the world with an avenue to raise funds and awareness for rhino and habitat conservation.  Registration and Sanction information for AAZK Chapters and other event holders is found later in this page.


The AAZK Bowling for Rhinos Program connects dedicated individuals with conservation organizations working directly with rhino and their habitats. We provide an avenue for raising funds and awareness to support in situ programs focused on education, protection, population management, and habitat conservation.


The AAZK Bowling for Rhinos Program will unite all animal care professionals in raising awareness and funds for the conservation of rhino and their habitats.

AAZK realized that the animal keepers of the world were extremely conservation oriented and wanted to help save rhinos and their habitats, yet did not have the financial resources themselves to make any significant impact. That’s when the idea came to start a national bowl-a-thon called Bowling For Rhinos.

These fundraisers are organized by volunteers, who donate their time and organizational skills to help raise money to send directly to the places in need. Since all the people involved are volunteers, 100% of all event proceeds and online donations are sent directly to these in situ rhino conservation areas.

AAZK Bowling for Rhinos Conservation Resource Grant

The Bowling for Rhinos Conservation Resource Grant will not be offered in 2024.


AAZK’s Bowling For Rhinos has broken the $8 million mark and until 2020 with Covid-19 impacting zoo and aquariums across the globe, we have continued to meet our goal of raising approximately $500,000 per year. This year will most likely be another difficult year for AAZK BFR and our BFR Conservation Partners in Asia and Africa. With our AAZK Chapters and individual donors AAZK continues will continue make a significant difference in rhino and multi-species conservation during these difficult times.

Total BFR Funds Raised from 1990 to Date:


2024 Funds Raised Year to Date: $15,395.46

Individuals may make a donation to AAZK’s Bowling for Rhinos by “Donate Today” button. Individual donations may be attributed to a sanctioned AAZK Chapter event by listing the name of the Chapter in the “Recognition” box. Donors may also honor an individual by entering the name into the “Recognition” box.



Board Oversight – Conservation Team

Sara Bjerklie

BFR Program Contacts for Sanctioned Event Holders

AAZK BFR Program Manager 
Frank Verney

BFR Team

  • Vacant – Vice Manager
  • Vacant – BFR Event Coordinator
  • Ashleigh Winkelmann – BFR Event Coordinator
  • Janel Jankowski – BFR Communications Liaison
  • Selenia Murillo – Conservation Resource Grant Coordinator

BFR Fund Distribution


In order to receive Sanction for a BFR Event, the BFR Event Holder shall annually pay the $25.00 (USD) Registration Fee and register their event with AAZK by completing the BFR Event Information Form by May 1 of each calendar year.

Please click on the Form below:

2024 AAZK BFR Registration

The Registration is a two-part process:

Part 1 is the event information (dates, location, contact information etc) and the Anna Merz Rhino Champion Award for a dedicated individual who will be selected by random drawing to win a trip to the Lewa Wildlife.
Part 2 is completion of the Trip Winner Form to nominate the Ian Craig/Susie Ellis Africa/Asia Trip Awards for the two highest Chapter fundraising events and the BFR Trip Awards (2) who will be selected by random drawing to win a trip to Africa or Asia.

Completion of the BFR Event Registration/Trip Nomination Forms and payment of the BFR Registration Fee fee by May 1 shall cause the AAZK Chapter to be sanctioned by AAZK and the BFR Event shall receive a BFR Event Kit which contains the Event Guidelines and supplemental documents required to hold a sanctioned BFR Event.  The BFR Registration (Sanction) fee covers a portion of the administrative costs so that 100% of all event profits and donations can go directly to rhino conservation.

At the conclusion of the BFR Event funds may be paid using the “Donate Today” button above or mail a check payable to AAZK/BFR to:

2820 S Alma School Rd
Suite 18 PMB 2057
Chandler, AZ 85286

If paying online, please be sure to list the following information in the “Recognition” box: Chapter Name, “BFR Donation”, Event Name & Date

Trip Awards – Bowling for Rhinos 2023

  • Ian Craig Trip Rhino Champion Award: Greater Cincinnati AAZK
    Nominating, Alle Foster – Lewa Trip Winner
  • Susie Ellis Trip Rhino Champion Award: Indianapolis AAZK
    Nominating, Krista O’Hare – Lewa Trip Winner
  • African Rhino Champion Award: Oklahoma City AAZK
    Nominating, Elizabeth McCrea – Indonesia Trip Winner 
  • Asian Rhino Champion Award: Potawatomi AAZK
    Nominating, Lauren Huber – Indonesia Trip Winner
  • Anna Merz Rhino Champion Award: St. Louis AAZK
    Nominating, Nate Aalund – Lewa Trip Winner

Top Ten BFR Chapter Fundraisers for 2022

  • Los Angeles $23,075.00
  • Indianapolis $21,000.00
  • Greater Cincinnati $20,000.00
  • Jacksonville $16,247.14
  • Lincoln Park $15,300.82
  • Point Defiance $14,550.00
  • St. Louis $10,715.12
  • Dallas $ 9,932.87
  • Phoenix $ 9,516.75
  • Riverbanks $ 9,000.00

Top Ten BFR Chapters: 1990 to 2022

  • Los Angeles AAZK Chapter – $466,042.86
  • Oklahoma City AAZK Chapter – $373,422.06
  • Portland AAZK Chapter – $353,145.68
  • San Diego AAZK Chapter –  $322,952.58
  • Dallas AAZK Chapter – $317,529.46
  • Utah AAZK Chapter –  $292,429.95
  • Indianapolis AAZK Chapter $244,145.70
  • Jacksonville AAZK Chapter $237,657.14
  • Detroit AAZK Chapter $228,991.33
  • Lincoln Park Chapter $217,890.29