Several of my fondest memories as a little girl growing up in Chicago include the natural beauty and underwater wonderment I experienced as a child exploring Shedd Aquarium. My mother and I would spend the afternoon navigating the iconic galleries and exotic pools of what seemed to include other-worldly creatures before setting up a picnic alongside the building's lakeside grounds where we would talk about the amazing animals just encountered. I'd eat my sandwich in between "Did you see...?" bursts of excitement before walking hand-in-hand back to the train that would carry us away from the day's adventure - Neptune's trident atop Shedd's ocean wave-lined rooftop fading in the distance.
Both my mother and grandmother used to talk to me at an early age about how it is our collective responsibility to carry on what those who came before us helped pave the way to provide - and that included being a part of sustaining and creating new opportunities for those would come after us. That is exactly what your support as a Member of Shedd Aquarium does for the animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild. Your individual and collective support helps ensure that thousands of the same species you are able to see and connect with today will be preserved and protected for generations to come.
I'm Janet Grogan and I proudly work to support the animal welfare, conservation and education initiatives that are at the core of who we are at Shedd. As Vice President of Membership, Individual and Major Gifts, I work day-in and day-out to ensure our programs are supported by the personal passion and generosity only made possible through Shedd's biggest advocates and storytellers - our Members like you.
This year, we’re introducing new benefits for our Members such as unique events, first-look emails and tips for making your visit exclusive. These benefits are our way of showing you how much your donation means to Shedd and the mission our staff is dedicated to fulfilling every day.
This small glimpse into my Shedd story begins with the opportunities Shedd provides families to create quality, bonding and learning time together. For you, it may be an interest in deepwater marine life or a love for the local preserves as part of Lake Michigan's vast backyard. No matter how the chapter begins, I'd love to hear from you on why Shedd holds a special place in your heart. What is your Shedd story?
My husband and I continue the legacy of building Shedd family memories today with our son, now 15-months-old. He loves to walk up to the exhibits - particularly watching the colorful fish of Amazon Rising's floor-to-ceiling windows or listening to the loud barks of one of the rescued residents that make the Grainger Sea Lion Cove of the Abbott Oceanarium their splashy home. If you see little finger prints on the underwater viewing windows of our great white beluga whales, they're probably his!
I hope you'll join us by leaving your mark on Shedd Aquarium too for years to come. Thank you for your continued support.
Vice President of Membership, Individual and Major Gifts
Shedd Aquarium was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Chicago. I remember being in awe – from the beautiful architecture to the amazing animals in the collection, I knew that this was a place I wanted to belong. Now that I work here, I continue to be in awe of the wonderful support of all of our members. It is inspiring to see the passion and dedication they have to Shedd and our mission of providing our animals with the best possible care. As I continue to learn more and more about all the wonderful programs Shedd has to offer, I look forward to sharing those insights with you and finding special ways to thank you, our members, and make sure your experience is a great one every single time.
Manager, Member & Donor Relations