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Greg and Kim Hext, Zoo To Do chairs

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 13, 2018

 Zoo To Do kicked-off Safari Soirée with a private party at the Simmons Safari Base Camp at the Dallas Zoo where guests enjoyed viewing elephants roaming in their Giants of the Savanna habitat in the background. 


A cool breeze was in the air and everyone was in a festive mood as they were greeted by drummers dressed in colorful traditional African dress and boarded trams taking them to this special location for the kick-off celebration.

Zoo To Do Chairs Kim and Greg Hext set the scene for the evening with a fabulous and quite dramatic tablescape filled with luscious flora created just for this event to announce the theme and inside, tables were set with gourmet delights created by the Zoo’s Executive Chef Ian Feiwus.

Lois Finkelman, a Dallas Zoo chair-elect and former board chair of both the Dallas Park Board and the NRPA (National Park and Recreation Association) as well as a former member of the Dallas City Council, thanked everyone for their support and for attending this evening’s celebration. She introduced Darryl Griffin, Executive Vice President Advancement at the Dallas Zoo, who said this is the 27th year of Zoo To Do and congratulated last year’s chairs, Barbara and Don Daseke, in raising over $1 million to support the Zoo’s mission of making the world a better place for animals.


Kim and Greg announced their event chairs and committee members: Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, Honorary Chair; Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy, Live Auction Co-Chairs; Jenna Alexander, Rozalyn Colombo and Nancy Gopez, Silent Auction Co-Chairs; Denise Glazer and Gayla Von Ehr, Silent Auction committee; Robyn Chauvin, Raffle Chair, Barbara and Don Daseke, Host Committee Chairs; Cindy Gummer, Big Board Chair; Diane Brierley, Lane Britain, Mike Gruber, and Michael Meadows, Underwriting Committee; Ellen Winspear, Chef Hospitality Chair; Chef Dan Landsberg, Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa, Honorary Chef Chair; Brett Krafft, Hilton Anatole, Chef Wrangler. Gregg Hudson is President and CEO of the Dallas Zoo. Joan Walne is Chairman of the Board.

Lifting the cover from the gorgeous tablescape, Kim announced this year’s theme, Safari Soirée and logo, to a rousing round of applause. She also revealed two additional events added to the traditional Zoo To Do: A family picnic honoring participating chefs happening in September and the ZTD2, The After Party chaired by Travis Andres. Planned as a special event targeting Zoo friends and young professionals, ZTD2 begins at 9:00 p.m. and is included with the main event ticket or has a separate ticket price of $150 per person, featuring exclusive chefs, along with open bar and dancing until midnight to the Emerald City All-Stars.

Slated for Saturday, October 13, 2018 and hosted at the Dallas Zoo, guests and patrons of the 2018 Zoo To Do Safari Soirée will stroll through the award-winning Giants of the Savanna exhibit, sample exquisite dishes from more than 25 of Dallas’s premier chefs and restaurants, and enjoy interactive animal demonstrations and musical entertainment. Following dinner, guests will move to the Wilds of Africa plaza for a live auction featuring rare Zoo experiences, travel and more! Finally, partygoers will dance the night away to music from Emerald City All Stars.

Zoo To Do is a major source of funding for the Dallas Zoo. Proceeds from the event help support the Zoo’s dedication to providing the best animal care, delivering unique education offerings and furthering its wildlife conservation efforts. 

Sponsorships range from $7,500 to $50,000. Underwriting ranges from $7,500 to $100,000. Individual tickets are $750 each and a VIP ticket pack is $3,000. For more information, visit the website at or contact Makalah Brown, Events Manager, 469.554.7341,



About the Dallas Zoo: The Dallas Zoo is dedicated to creating a better world for animals. Named one of the nation’s Top 10 Zoos by USA Today, it is the largest zoological experience in Texas. The zoo has been accredited continuously by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums for 33 years, and features a 106-acre park, thousands of animals, and an education department that offers programs for all ages. The zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35 at Marsalis) and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 469.554.7500.

 (Photos by Cathy Burkey.)

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