AP NEWS

Houstonians raise funds at annual Zoo Ball

April 11, 2019

On Saturday, April 6, the “Zoo Ball: Flights of Fancy,” presented by Phillips 66, raised vital funds for the Houston Zoo. At this year’s black-tie gala, more than 400 Houstonians celebrated the wondrous world of birds and raised nearly $800,000 to support the zoo.

This year’s event, hosted by chairs Demi and Ron Rand, was themed to highlight the zoo’s efforts to care for and protect birds around the world.

The party-goers turned up the volume on glamour, and the zoo transformed its Masihara Pavilion into a colorful ballroom. City Kitchen served a multi-course dinner.

Daniel Ortiz, for the Houston Zoo, and Zoo president and CEO, Lee Ehmke shared the zoo’s plan for a new Avian Conservation Center opening in 2021. The center will enhance the zoo’s efforts to breed endangered birds like the Colombia’s blue-billed curassow. This plan will also revitalize the zoo’s bird garden to better showcase the many birds in beautiful new aviaries.

Guests bid on silent auction items during cocktail hour with the highest bid going for a Tenenbaum Jewelers bangle bracelet for $5,000. After dinner, a live auction called by auctioneer Mark Thomas, highlighted competitive items including week-long stays in private homes in Big Sky, Montana, and Cabo San Lucas. Beverly and Jim Postl won the chance to name the three alligators that will live in the new Texas Wetlands exhibit for $13,000.

This year, Flock members Sam Cole and Jacki Levett-Prinsep hosted the Zoo Ball After Party. Audio House kept revelers dancing until midnight.