Against the backdrop of roaring lions and tigers, the Women's Board of Lincoln Park Zoo hosted its 35th annual Zoo Ball July 13th. The rain didn't dampen the spirits of more than 1,100 black-tie clad guests as they mixed and mingled in three adjoining tents on the zoo grounds. "This evening's theme, 'The Great Catsby' acknowledges the beauty of the world's big cats and invites guests to experience a grand time with friends who share a love of our wild animals," said Zoo President and CEO Kevin Bell.
During the reception, across from the Kovler Lion House, guests enjoyed a silent auction and had the opportunity to "Feed a Friend" at the zoo. Donations ranged from $100 to feed a gibbon family for three months to $15,000 for a year's worth of food for a gorilla family. Donors walked away with stuffed animals reflecting their choices and for those who didn't take the toys, they were donated to Lurie Children's Hospital, a partner of the zoo.
Co-chairs Cynthia Polayes and Suzanne Meder chose décor that reflected a Hampton's theme and included twinkling chandeliers hanging throughout the more than 30,000' feet of tenting while masses of blue hydrangeas served as centerpieces. Earlier in the day, due to heavy rains, one of the tents came down but all was well by the time the event began
Dinner and dancing followed with guests enjoying the sounds of Rendezvous. A highlight of the evening came when surprise performers, the Village People, were introduced. As guests jammed the dance floor, this popular 1970's disco group performed their hits culminating with a crowd favorite "YMCA." At the close of the event, chauffeured courtesy cars from BMW were available for attendees.
Guests included Abby Zanarini (Women's Board President), Anne Pramaggiore (Honorary Chair), actress Joan Cusack, Wendy Krimins, Tina Koegel, Susan Regenstein and Barry Frank, Beth Levin and Marcus Lemonis, Myra and John Reilly, Vicki and Bill Hood, Kathy Brock and Doug Regan, Rebecca and Charlie Besser, Janet and Rodger Owen, William Holdeman, Sherren Leigh, Ken Norgan, Paul Iacono, Leslie and Robert Zentner, Gale and Jay Gottlieb, Wendy Chronister and Peter Rogers and John Alexander.
Proceeds from the evening amounted to more than $1 million and will go towards the zoo's Nature Boardwalk, an urban ecosystem designed to provide a refuge for people, plants and animals, as well as provide funds to maintain one of the last free zoos in the nation.
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