Fiona T-shirts to help Australia now on sale days before the hippo’s 3rd birthday

Fiona T-shirts to help Australia now on sale days before the hippo’s 3rd birthday
CincyShirts' Friends of Fiona shirt raises money for brushfire relief in Australia. (Source: CincyShirts)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A T-shirt featuring zoo favorite Fiona being embraced by Australian wildlife is now available in stores.

Inside Cincy Shirts in Over-The-Rhine, customers are coming to the store for one item.

“I bought the Fiona shirts!” said Allison Coleman. "So you’re a Fiona fan? Of course, yes everybody is in Cincinnati!”

Coleman bought a “Fiona and Friends” t-shirt for herself, her brother and mom. Her brother is studying abroad in Australia through Miami University and comes home Thursday. She plans to wear the shirt to the airport.

Bonnie Campbell traveled to Australia with her husband several years ago. She says it’s hard to see videos and images of the wildfire in the same spot she’s visited.

“We’ve been to Australia, we love it, know the people over there,” Campbell explained. “So it’s a good thing to do. We donate money around here when things go wrong, so it’s a way to get money over there which we would have no other way of doing.”

All proceeds from sales of the shirt, designed by local artist Loren Long, will go toward providing critical care and long-term recovery for suffering animals.

According to an Instagram post on Monday, CincyShirts has already raised more than $85,000 in partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanic Garden for Zoo Victoria’s Brushfire Emergency Wildlife Relief Fund. The zoo says it will add $5,000 to the total raised from sales of the shirt.

The t-shirts are available until Jan. 31, 2020. If you can’t make it out to one of the store locations, you can order them online.

By the way, Cincinnati’s favorite hippo turns three on Friday. It’s hard to believe a one-time tiny, underweight, premature hippo is now more than one-thousand pounds and thriving.

Busken Bakery is selling special cookies in honor of Fiona's third birthday. One dollar from the sale of each cookie will be donated to the zoo.
Busken Bakery is selling special cookies in honor of Fiona's third birthday. One dollar from the sale of each cookie will be donated to the zoo. (Source: WXIX)

If you want to celebrate the growth and life of Fiona, Busken Bakery is one of several businesses offering special items for the hippo’s birthday.

They’ve sold a cookie each year since Fiona was born with one dollar from each cookie going back to the zoo.

“In the beginning it was critical, was she going to survive? What could we do to really support a hippo that was born so many weeks early? And then people really got behind it,” Kathy Birkofer, Director of Sales and Growth for Busken, said.

Whether you buy a t-shirt or a cookie with Fiona’s face on it, we can all take a moment to celebrate this big day in Cincinnati history.

Other businesses celebrating include Listermann Brewing Company, Rookwood Pottery, and Graeter’s Ice Cream, and Rally House.

The Rally House Fiona t-shirt will be for sale at Crestview, Florence, Rookwood, Dayton and Voice of America locations.

The Rally House is just one of several Tri-State businesses that are celebrating Fiona's third birthday.
The Rally House is just one of several Tri-State businesses that are celebrating Fiona's third birthday. (Source: WXIX)

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