Check Zoo Ball as a ”Must” This Summer
Photography by Jessica tampas photography
Whether you lived in the city at one time, or have called the North Shore home your entire life, chances are you’ve taken yourself or your children to Lincoln Park Zoo. As the city’s only free cultural institution, its grip as a Chicago “must-see” might be one of the strongest around. Their fund-raising efforts to keep the zoo at no cost to the millions visiting each year are legendary.
Hosted by the Women’s Board, and co-chaired by Susan Erler and Rosemary Jones of Chicago, and Kirsten Rider of Winnetka, Lincoln Park Zoo will once again host their annual Zoo Ball on July 8. The 2011 theme is “Hollywood & Vines” and is set to be a night embracing the Golden Age of film. The black-tie soiree promises cocktails, entertainment, auctions, and dancing, all within the habitats of the zoo’s residents.
This year, the Women’s Board has secured Guggenheim Partners as their presenting sponsor. Also this year is the introduction of the BidPal, a handheld bidding device for use during the silent auction. Guests will be provided with the smartphone-style device when they arrive at the ball, allowing them to easily bid on silent auction items, monitor bidding progress, and update bids throughout the evening.
As the largest fund-raiser for Lincoln Park Zoo, the 34-year-old Zoo Ball has raised millions for capital projects, endowment, and operating funds. Specific to this year, Nature Boardwalk was created at the zoo’s South Pond, thanks, in part, to the $2 million pledge by the Women’s Board. This 14-acre “interaction ecosystem” provides a haven for native trees, plants, and animals. Most importantly, this revitalization of the zoo’s grounds will serve as an outdoor classroom for all ages, allowing guests to escape the hustle and bustle of the city while smack in the middle of it.
The Zoo Ball is famous for attracting Chicago’s A-listers from industry, culture, and philanthropy, but it’s the truly unique setting that makes it so enticing. Co-chair Kirsten Rider laughs, “Where else can you spend the evening outdoors, entertained by lions and tigers?”
The Zoo Ball begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 8. Tickets begin at $600 per person and $6,000 per table. For more information, call the Zoo Ball hotline at 312-742-2296, or visit lpzooball.org.