Zoo Update with Tom Jacobson, GLAZA President

Tom Jacobson, GLAZA President Photo by Jamie Pham

In May, I promised you an update on our new fundraising event Walk for the Wild, and since then we’ve also hosted our second virtual Beastly Ball. The generosity of all of you—and the Los Angeles community—touched our hearts as the Zoo has gradually increased capacity while the pandemic restrictions began to ease. We wouldn’t have made it through these last harrowing months without you, and we’re most grateful for your thoughtfulness.

The final Walk for the Wild tally was $158,555, well over our $150,000 goal. Together we walked more than 28,000 miles in support of the Zoo’s wildlife conservation mission. The first edition of Walk for the Wild was virtual, but next year we hope to be welcoming you in person!

We are very excited about bringing the Beastly Ball back to the Zoo in person for 2022. On June 5, the Ball featured an astonishing array of celebrities, musical talent and animal moments. The online auction was a huge hit, selling out all 244 items, including the paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures in our first-time-ever art auction. You can still see the Ball on our website and join the more than 22,000 viewers who’ve already visited, exceeding last year’s milestone attendance by more than 1,000. After a year of virtual experiences, we were worried about Zoom fatigue, but your philanthropy broke last year’s record with more than $1,061,000 in gifts and silent auction purchases. Thank you for joining us and for all you do for the Los Angeles Zoo!

The creativity of Zoo and GLAZA staff during the pandemic has been amazing, and we learned a lot that we’ll carry forward. In addition to the Beastly Ball and Walk for the Wild, in the coming year we’ll launch our Conservation Council to support the Zoo’s new Conservation Strategic Plan. While the Zoo was closed for so many months, we missed all of you, but during our hibernation we dreamed up new ways to connect you to animals and conservation. We look forward to enjoying an especially beautiful summer together!

Author: Tom Jacobson