The Louisville Zoo is happy to announce that one of our very own was nominated for the Louisville Rose Awards! Lynn Farrow is one of 64 outstanding finalists who represent the best of Louisville hospitality and tourism. Learn more about Lynn and Rafael’s story below.
Lynn Farrow assists visitors at various locations throughout the Zoo, including the Conservation Carousel, Lorikeet Landing, and giraffe feeding stations. During her inaugural season, Lynn had the pleasure of meeting 11-year-old Rafael, affectionately known as “Raf” among Zoo staff. Fate brought Raf into Lynn’s life one random Monday while she was working at the carousel, and a beautiful friendship blossomed. This friendship continued into Lynn’s second season where she went to extraordinary lengths to ensure Raf had a memorable experience. It all began with Lynn noticing Raf’s admiration for her employee badge. As her initial gesture of friendship, she crafted a personalized badge for Raf. Her next observation was Raf’s fascination with the carousel operations panel.
Determined to make his experience even more special, she collaborated with her supervisor, Membership Manager Adam Shaft, to explore the possibility of creating a custom, personalized “faux carousel operations sensory board” just for Raf. Three dedicated members from the Zoo’s maintenance department joined the effort, scouring for spare parts and meticulously fitting them into a portable carousel panel designed for Raf’s enjoyment. During the family’s last regular Monday Zoo visit before the start of school, Lynn, and her colleagues surprised Raf with this special custom carousel panel. In her continued commitment to connect with Raf who lives with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is considered emerging verbal, Lynn took it upon herself to self-educate about ASD. This supplemented her previous sensory inclusion training at the Zoo, which is one component of a larger sensory program provided to Zoo staff by KultureCity. This deep dive, along with valued advice from Raf’s grandparents, Klaus, and Sharon, further fortified their friendship. It’s people like Lynn that work hard to make the Louisville Zoo the fantastic and inclusive attraction that it is.