Zoo To Do’s Top Patrons Gather At The Winspears With A Leppert Among Them

The original plan for the  Zoo To Do patron party Tuesday night at Ellen and Don Winspear‘s place was to share the developments with the blue-ribbon crowd. First Dallas Zoological Society President/CEO Michael Meadows (pictured) and Executive Committee Chair Jennifer Altabef discussed past accomplishments like “Giants of the Savanna” reminding guests that if they hadn’t visited the newsmaking facility, they should.

But the true rallying point was the November 6th Zoo To Do’s “Under the Serengeti Sky” with 25 of Dallas’ premier chefs cooking up a storm at the zoo.

While the list of chefs and auction items including diamond bracelets and trips to Africa were being reeled off, Mayor Tom Leppert quietly slipped into the back of the living room. Well, he may have made a stealth arrival, but he started working the room like a politician up for election. But he’s not! Still it was a treat to see him in action. Moving and quietly chatting his way from Mark Royse (pictured with Tom Leppert) past Hal Brierley to Sean Greene (pictured right with Don Winspear), he was as graceful and charming as a Errol Flynn.

But he never distracted the rest of the room from the main subject — Zoo To Do. Even after the official talking was done, Ellen and Don were giving first-hand testimony on the wonderment of Africa having just returned from an extended visit to Africa with Shannon and Ted Skokos.

It’s a good thing that the Winspears are back because they’ve been hosting soprano Claire Rutter, who is Donna Anna in the upcoming Don Giovanni at The Dallas Opera. Claire had wanted to be there for the Zoo To Do evening’s festivities, but TDO Artistic Director “Jonathan (Pell) has them (the cast) working.”

Speaking of a cast, the following sponsors are helping to raise funds for the zoo:

  • Simba ~ Lion ($50,000): Diane and Hal Brierley/Brierley + Partners, Eugene McDermott Foundation, Ruth O. Mutch, Harold Simmons Family and Shannon and Ted Skokos
  • Tembo ~ Elephant ($30,000): Jennifer and Peter Altabef, American Airlines Inc., Dell Services, Gayla and Jim Von Ehr and Weber Shandwick
  • Twiga ~ Giraffe ($20,000): Shelly and Tom Codd/Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Carol and Don Glendenning/Locke Lord, Park Place Motorcars Dallas and Ellen and Don Winspear
  • Duma ~ Cheetah ($10,000): AT&T, CLR Design Inc./MetalMan Design/Build Corporation, Karen and Phil Drayer, Jennifer and John Eagle, e-Rewards Inc., Highland Park Village,
  • Jennifer and Doug Houser, Carol and John Levy, Neiman Marcus, Overhead Door Corporation and Edgar and Ruth Robinson Family
  • Punda ~ Zebra ($5,000): Patti and Bill Alcorn, Anonymous, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail/Diane and Mike Gruber, Boardwalk Auto Group/Scott and Gina Ginsburg, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Mary Kay Inc., Mudge Foundation, MetalMan Design/Build Corporation, New Process Steel LP, Oncor Electric Delivery, Margot and Ross Perot, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Suzann Ruff,
  • Service Systems Associates, Turner Construction Company, The University of Texas at Dallas and Walne Family – Herb’s Paint & Body Shops
  • Swala ~ Impala ($3,000): Craig C. Callewart MD, Eckert Communications, Melissa and Trevor Fetter Family Fund of the Dallas Foundation, Denise and Steven Glazer, Steve Hargrove/Hargrove Electric Co. Inc., Amy and Michael Meadows, Deborah and David Michel and Winstead PC
  • Jibwa ~ Wild Dog ($1,500): Charlie and Pauline Chen, Communities Foundation of Texas, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mr. and Mrs. Steven H. Durham, Lois and Ross Finkelman, Grant Thornton LLP, Kathy and Kevin Hanrahan, Haynes and Boone LLP, Lyndon and Debra Johnson, Kline Family Foundation, Naomi Aberly and Larry Lebowitz on behalf of the Lebowitz Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Rob Little, Holmes Murphy & Associates Inc., Mercury Communication Services, Joyce and Harvey Mitchell, Carolyn and Karl Rathjen, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Barbie and Tommy Stewart, Whitney and Rob Strauss and Christi and Hal Urschel III MD