First and foremost, thank you to everyone who supported Project Lio-rama. While we did not meet our financial goal, we do feel the project was a success. Support came in many ways. Of course there was financial support. During a four-week period 65 donors contributed over $4400 through the GOLDrush website, and additional donations came in offline at the museum.
Additional support came in the way of media awareness. The story of Harry & Josephine resonated with the community. Newspapers (Press Citizen, Des Moines Register, Cedar Rapids Gazette, & Daily Iowan) and television news (KCRG & DITV) provided coverage of the GOLDrush campaigns & Project Lio-rama in particular.
The media coverage alerted a wider audience to the work being done to create a better exhibit for the lions. The public has come forth to share their own stories of the lions & the Iowa City Zoo. We even discovered that the lioness’s skeleton has been down the hall in an archaeology lab for years!
Many of our original questions remain. What caused the lions’ deaths? Were they named Harry & Josephine or King Leo & Pet? How long did they live in the Woodlawn carriage house? Did the sound of their roars really travel throughout Iowa City? There is now funding to begin preliminary research into lions’ storied history in Iowa City. Our first venture into crowdfunding taught us much and we couldn’t have done it without you! We look forward to sending you future updates as Project Lio-rama moves ahead.