Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Zebra connects Jefferson, Africa

Donations will go to a water project in Sierra Leone

JEFFERSON— Question: What’s the connection between a Christian music festival in Salem and a community water project in Africa?
Answer: A 10-week-old zebra, named Zoe, in Jefferson.

David Patton/Democrat-Herald
Cory Baker of Jefferson, with his daughter Kimberly, is nudged by his 10-week-old zebra, Zoe.

Cory Baker, who owns Baker Construction and Jefferson Rental, bought Zoe from a Spokane breeder. He will take pictures of people with Zoe at the Salem River Fest later this month, and the money he makes from the pictures will go toward a water project in Sierra Leone in west Africa.
“We’re going to have everyone write checks to Jefferson Baptist Church for the project,” Baker said. “If we take 10,000 pictures and we charge $10 apiece, we’ll get $100,000, which will pay for the whole system.”
Baker and his family attend Jefferson Baptist, which sends medical and construction teams to Sierra Leone twice a year. His daughter Kimberly went on a medical service trip there earlier this year.
Jefferson Baptist is a sponsor of the Salem festival, which will feature nationally-known Christian bands, BMX biking and skateboarding and a production of “Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis.
Why did Baker get a zebra?
First, it’s Kim’s favorite animal. Second, “I just don’t like raising cows anymore,” Baker said.
“I was kind of joking when I said he should get one,” Kim said. “I didn’t think he’d actually do it. But I’ve always wanted one.”
The Bakers were bottle-feeding Zoe, but now they have her eating grain and alfalfa like a horse. Cory keeps her in a heated shop he’s building on his property off Jefferson-Marion Road.
This month the family took Zoe to Detroit Lake, where they went swimming and hiking with her. “She’s a lot of fun,” Baker said. “Most places, I don’t have to put a leash on her, unless there are dogs around.”

.: Albany Democrat-Herald: Local News