Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s 2017 Beastly Ball Celebrated L.A. Zoo’s 50th Anniversary

CONTACT: GLAZA Press

May 25, 2017

GREATER LOS ANGELES ZOO ASSOCIATION’S 2017 BEASTLY BALL CELEBRATED L.A. ZOO’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY, WITH CONCERT BY ROCK LEGEND SLASH AND SPECIAL GUESTS JACK BLACK, GRACE POTTER AND BERNARD FOWLER ALONG WITH JIMMY VIVINO AND THE BASIC CABLE BAND

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY RECEIVED TOM MANKIEWICZ LEADERSHIP AWARD

EVENT BENEFITTED ZOO’S NEW SPECIES CONSERVATION ACTION NETWORK (SCAN), WHICH WILL IDENTIFY AND RESPOND TO URGENT ANIMAL CONSERVATION ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s (GLAZA) annual BEASTLY BALL attracted nearly 1,000 guests and raised a record-breaking $2.85 million for the L.A. Zoo, a trusted leader in animal conservation, on Saturday, May 20, 2017. This year’s signature fundraiser celebrated the L.A. Zoo’s 50th Anniversary and featured a performance by legendary guitarist and noted wildlife advocate Slash in an exclusive live concert joined by special guests Jack Black, Grace Potter and Bernard Fowler, backed by Jimmy Vivino and The Basic Cable Band (Conan O’Brien Show). For those not able to attend in person, Live Nation, NextVR, and Citi exclusively broadcast the entire concert in virtual reality. GLAZA President Connie Morgan and L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis bestowed the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award on the National Geographic Society, represented by Gary E. Knell, President and CEO. Beastly Ball proceeds in part support the Zoo’s new Species Conservation Action Network (SCAN), including a dedicated Curator of Conservation whose sole focus will be to identify and respond to urgent animal conservation issues around the world.

Beastly Ball guests, dressed in “safari casual” attire, strolled through the Zoo observing its inhabitants, watching animal feedings, chatting with keepers and viewing small animals up close, including a Lanner falcon, macaw, Angolan python, skink, bearded dragon and more. Among other animals showcased during the evening were those representing the Zoo’s variety such as okapi, giraffe, chimps, elephants, orangutan, Nubian ibex, Western lowland gorilla, Grevy’s zebra, Tasmanian devil, koala, Western grey kangaroo, echidna, Tammar wallaby, sloth and many others.

Bountiful fare was provided by some of L.A.’s most popular restaurants who donated their services for dinner: Antonio’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Celestino Ristorante, Earthbar, El Cholo – Los Angeles, Delicious Arts, El Coyote Mexican Café, The Federal Bar, Frida Restaurant Americana, Hard Rock Café, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Little Sister, Malbec Argentinian Cuisine, Red O, Salt’s Cure, Simmzy’s, Taix French Restaurant, Tart Bites Bakery, Taste Of The Wild Catering at the Los Angeles Zoo and Yummy Cupcakes. Viva XXXII Tequila donated tequila for the evening.

Highlights of the live and silent auctions included an extraordinary 10-day journey on National Geographic’s Endeavour II to the Galápagos Islands; the opportunity to be a koala, gorilla or elephant “Keeper for a Day” at the L.A. Zoo; tickets to “Hamilton” at the Pantages, the hottest show in town; an exclusive tour of the DreamWorks studios; a set visit to the hit sitcom “Life in Pieces”; an LAPD fly along; trips to Panama, St. Lucia, Cabo, Antigua and more; an Epiphone guitar autographed by Slash; and hundreds of other exclusive and one-of-a-kind opportunities.

The National Geographic Society (nationalgeographic.org), a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education, is the seventh recipient of the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award, following actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. (2016), singer/philanthropist Lance Bass (2015), entertainment industry attorney Ken Ziffren (2014), actresses Pauley Perrette (2013) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (2012) and rock icon Slash, a GLAZA Trustee (2011). The award was established in memory of former GLAZA Chairman Tom Mankiewicz, a beloved and highly regarded film and television writer and director. Mankiewicz, who passed away in 2010, was associated with such films as Superman, Diamonds Are Forever and Live and Let Die, and the Hart to Hart television series, among many others. He championed the cause of saving and protecting wildlife and the environment through education and on-the-ground conservation. He also promoted the Zoo’s universal appeal and its accessibility as a gathering place for all in Los Angeles’ diverse communities.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens marks its 50th anniversary with a yearlong “ZooLAbration” of its November 28, 1966, opening that spotlights not only its key role as a world-class destination and an important community asset but also its critical successes in conservation, quality of life and premier care for animals. Having recently completed a $172 million master plan which significantly improved the Zoo facility, the 50th anniversary coincides with the early planning stages of a new Master Plan for the future. The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. Its many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats. The Zoo’s lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter and face-to-face Giraffe Feedings; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and Muriel’s Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.