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Event that offered free public transit and free admission to area attractions drew huge crowds
COLUMBUS, OH (January 22, 2019) — Central Ohioans turned out in droves to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Columbus Foundation on December 29. The Big Explore, the Foundation’s “thank you” event to the community who helped build its success, offered free COTA rides and free admission to seven of the area’s most prominent cultural attractions: Columbus Museum of Art, COSI, Franklin Park Conservatory, National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Ohio History Connection, The Pizzuti Collection, and Wexner Center for the Arts.
In total, 55,867 attended one or more of the attractions, and more than 45,500 people rode COTA that day, a 78 percent increase over that same day last year, according to Jeff Pullin, Public Information Officer for COTA. Attendance records were broken at COSI, Franklin Park Conservatory, National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and Pizzuti Collection.
“The historic and inspiring level of community participation in The Big Explore is a testament to the spirit of Columbus. Without a doubt, this event showcased what makes our city so special: its open and engaged people.”
DOUGLAS F. KRIDLER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE COLUMBUS FOUNDATION
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams offered $.75 scoops of ice cream at all of their Columbus shops that day and served 9,578 scoops, making it the busiest day for ice cream in the company’s history. John Lowe, CEO of Jeni’s, announced that the company would donate back $20,000 of their proceeds from the day to the Foundation’s Gift of Kindness fund, which assists community members experiencing emergency hardships with one-time grants.
About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation serves more than 2,500 individuals, families, and businesses that have created unique funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Now 75 years strong, The Columbus Foundation is Your Trusted Philanthropic Advisor® and the eighth largest community foundation in the United States.