James Dondero, co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, has been growing in popularity and for good reason. Not only is his firm one of the largest capital investment companies in Dallas, Mr. Dondero is also a huge philanthropist and supporter of community development projects. He possesses a burning passion for helping others and improving his hometown for its residents and visitors. This passion is quite evident based on the several construction projects he has donated to, including educational institutions and the majority of Dallas’ main attractions such as the SMU’s Tower Scholars Program, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute, the Education is Freedom Charity, the Snowball Express, and the Perot Museum of Natural Science.
James Dondero’s latest act of extreme kindness has moved millions of Dallas Zoo fans. Dallas Zoo is a 106-acre zoo that was established in 1888. It’s the largest and oldest zoological park in Texas and houses over 2,000 animals. Last year Mr. Dondero made a promise via his Facebook page that he would see to it that the Dallas Zoo would get their hippos back, something their fans took quite seriously. A year later, he has kept his word.
When asked about the new Simmons Hippo Outpost, the Dallas Zoo CEO and president, Gregg Hudson replied, “In the 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve probably had more requests for that animal to come back to the zoo than anything else. They’re one of those iconic animals like elephants and lions that everyone associates with Africa and the zoo.” It had been fifteen years since hippos were at the zoo since their last one named ‘Papa’ died of old age. Unfortunately, their plan to reintroduce hippos to the zoo was halted for a lack of financial resources.
That was the situation until alongside a few other philanthropists, James Dondero made the decision to donate a million dollars to aid in the reconstruction of the Simmons Hippo Outpost. The outpost is a 5000 square foot lodge area that offers amazing views of the hippos. The area also has private event space where all proceeds will be dedicated to the zoo’s future improvements. “At Highland Capital Management, we always invest in the community by offering support to organizations that advance the Dallas area in unparalleled and prestigious ways,” James said. He went on to add that, “The Dallas Zoo is exactly this kind of establishment and Highland Capital is proud to aid them in bringing great educational opportunities as well as experiences like the new hippo exhibit to Dallas.”
James Dondero has consistently donated millions of dollars over the years to causes that benefit the community. It’s no wonder he has grown such a positive reputation, his involvement makes a huge impact that will reflect and multiply positivity for years to come. As for his latest feat, the reconstruction of the hippo outpost has given the people of Dallas, zoo-goers and the hippo caregivers new hope, opportunities, and excitement, something they will always remember and be thankful for.
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