This year’s Zoo To Do: Wild at Heart fundraiser, presented by The Eugene McDermott Foundation was without a doubt the most Instagrammable party of the year. In addition to being greeted by Dawn and Steve Moore, this year’s Event Chairs, the 700 guests who came through the front gates of the Dallas Zoo on Saturday, November 2, were welcomed by animal ambassadors including flamingos, an anteater and penguins as a reminder of why Zoo To Do is so important. Proceeds from the event help support the Dallas Zoo’s dedication to providing the best animal care, deliver unique education offerings and strengthen its wildlife conservation efforts.
Honorary Chef Chair Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa, along with Chef Wrangler Brett Krafft from the Hilton Lincoln Centre joined guests at the award-winning Giants of the Savanna exhibit for a strolling dinner among the 30 restaurant stations representing the finest restaurants in Dallas. How often can one say they had lions, elephants, African painted dogs, and cheetahs as dinner companions!? At each station, executive chefs served delicious gourmet treats of appetizers, entrée specialties, and desserts. Bars scattered throughout the exhibit provided fine wines and craft cocktails. Partygoers could feed and pet the giraffes and enjoy interactive experiences with flamingos, a penguin, boa constrictor, anteater, tortoise, armadillo, and an owl. Among those in attendance were Barbara and Don Daseke, Hal and Diane Brierley, Doris Jacobs, and Tucker and Rich Enthoven, Lori and Chuck Whitten, Robyn and Chris Chauvin, Ed Belfour, Jenna Owens and Francisco Rizo, Hamilton Sneed, and Jane McGarry.
Meanwhile, back at the Zoo’s front gates, the Zoo To Do 2: The After-Party chaired by Brett Moore, Blair Moore Raggio, Brooke Moore was kicking off. Over 150 partygoers came out for Phase Two of the evening to enjoy face-painting, carousel rides, and networking with the Zoo’s animal ambassador and cocktails. Following the dinner and live auction portion of the evening, the Zoo To Do 2 after-party crowd joined in the celebration at the Wilds of Africa Plaza where everyone then danced the night away to music from Emerald City All-Stars, one of the city’s best live party cover bands.
2019 event chairs, Dawn and Steve Moore, credit the event’s smashing success to the hard work of underwriting committee chair Chuck Whitten, with Mark Enoch, Scott Gregory, Paul Haney, Ruth Ruhl, and Joan Walne; host committee chair Kevin Hanrahan; live auction chair Diane Brierley with Arlene Brantley, Barbara Daseke; big board chair Cindy Gummer, silent auction chairs Alex Arellano and Robyn Chauvin with Rudy Rodriguez and raffle chairs Justin Shipley and Gloria Snead; wine guys Mike Gruber, Greg Hext, Michael Meadows; host committee members; and support from advisory event chair Kim Hext, patrons, and underwriters. This year's Zoo To Do sponsors were American Airlines, Bank of America, VisitDallas, Cigna, PaperCity Magazine, Dallasites101, and Susan and John Wilder.
Participating restaurants were: 400 Gradi, Chef Randy Botelho; Bolsa, Chef Matt Balke; Botolino Gelato, Chef Carlo Gattini; Bright Box Foods, Chef Christopher Patrick; Ceviche, Chef Raul Reyes; Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House, Chef Lan Nickens; Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Chef Dan Landsberg, Honorary Chef; Ellie’s Restaurant and Lounge at HALL Arts Hotel, Chef Eric Dreyer; Empire Baking Company, Chef Meaders Ozarow; Gemma/Sachet, Chef Stephen Rogers; Hypnotic Donuts, Chef Heather Clark; Imoto, Chef Steve McHugh; Jack’s Chowhound, Jack Mooney; Laredo Taco and 7-Eleven, Inc, Chef Melissa Vera; Lovers Seafood and Market, Chef Jason Czaja; Mozzarella Company, Chef Paula Lambert; Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co., Natalie Sexton; Neiman Marcus The Zodiac, Chef David Crow; Nothing Bundt Cakes (Highland Park), Tara Cooper; Parigi, Chef Janice Provost; Pink Magnolia, Chef Blythe Beck; Salum, Chef Abraham Salum; SER Steaks + Seafood, Chef Kyle Jones; Sevy's Grill, Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson and Chef Gerardo Calderson; Sift + Pour, Elizabeth Ging; Suze, Chef Gilbert C. Garza; Taco y Vino, Jimmy Contreras; Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House, Chef Manny Vera; Tulum, Chef Nico Sanchez; and Two Sister’s Catering, Chef Brock Boyd.
The Dallas Zoo was recently named one of the nation’s Top 10 Zoos by USA TODAY and is the largest zoological experience in Texas. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the Zoo 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 4 p.m. For more information, visit DallasZoo.com or call 469.554.7500. DART is the official transportation provider of the Dallas Zoo, and its Red Line stops at the Zoo’s main entrance.