The Chilly Open is a Central Ohio fundraising event, organized and run by the Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club and its numerous volunteers. The event, which began in 1997, takes place the first Saturday in February every year at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Guests enjoy local cuisine from over 30 restaurants in heated tents and pavilions, serving foods ranging from fish and chips, buffalo chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, prime rib sandwiches, pizza, cookies, gourmet soups, and roasted pork tenderloin, just to name a few. The event is hosted by local celebrities Dom Tiberi of WBNS 10TV and Woody Johnson of 92.3 WCOL, and Kroger President Bruce Macauley is the Honorary Chairperson and Jack Hanna will be our Guest Host.
This family-oriented event has helped raise nearly $1.9 million for Central Ohio children’s charities such as The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, The Children’s Hunger Alliance, Flying Horse Farms, Buckeye Ranch, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, The Ohio Troopers Caring, W.A.R.M. (Westerville Area Resource Ministry), Children's Hospital, and numerous other children’s betterment programs.
The event is sponsored by leading local companies such as Kroger, Papa John’s, Pepsi, Grange Insurance, The Ohio Troopers Coalition, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, and receives a tremendous amount of publicity throughout Central Ohio which is donated by WBNS 10TV, The Columbus Dispatch, WCOL 92.3, ClearChannel Outdoor, and This Week Community Newspapers. Throughout the day, guests enjoy raffles, live music by The Debits, live and silent auctions, which include sports collectibles, memorabilia, and numerous other items for all tastes. Numerous activities for children will take place throughout the day in a specially designated area of the Zoo, known as the Children's Open, centered in the Activity Pavilion.
NOTE - Tickets purchased here can be picked up the day of the event at the Will Call window at the Columbus Zoo anytime after 10:00 a.m. on the day of the event. There are no refunds and there is no rain date - all proceeds go to the charities listed above. All children 12 and under attend free and will be given a ticket at the gate on the day of the event. Ticket purchase entitles bearer access to all Zoo exhibits on event day at no additional charge.
If you can't attend and would like to make a donation that will benefit the children's charities, you can do so right here on this site. Just fill out the Donation ticket type and enter the amount you wish to contribute. Thank you!
Rotary is the world’s first and largest service club organization and has a worldwide membership of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders in over 34,000 clubs. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace throughout the world.
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