W.C Fields once warned “never work with children and/or animals.” 2018 Zoo To Do Co-Chair Kim Hext tossed that theory to the wind at the announcement party on Thursday, June 8, at the Dallas Zoo. But more about that later.
Despite the nervous Nellies being worried about a batch of ugly storms heading south from the Red River, the guests gathered at Serengeti Grill overlooking the Giants of the Savanna for the news about the upcoming fundraiser. But before that took place, they watched the elephants enjoy their own happy hour munching on the limbs. When a clap of thunder was heard in the distance, the pachyderms simply kept on munching.
In the meantime the porcupine spread his quills, sending the message “look but don’t touch;” the usually selfie king owl played hard to get, turning its back to photographers; the anteater really was a bit of a slob eating his avocado; and the flamingos strolled offstage after a couple of photo opps like Vegas showgirls finishing their act.
But this would not be the last sighting of the spindly-legged flappers.
As for the guests, Barbara Daseke was solo. Husband Don Daseke was flying back from Birmingham and had planned to make the Z2D kick-off gathering, but the weather changed that POA… Hal Brierley’s flight had made it by flying south of the storm and arrived nine minutes later than scheduled. He and wife Diane Brierley were both delighted with the announcement earlier in the week about Fabio Luisi’s being named Dallas Symphony Orchestra music director… Dallas Zoo President/CEO Gregg Hudson couldn’t make it. Seems he was out of town, so Dallas Chair-Elect Lois Finkelman subbed in for him… Other peeps included Dallas Zoo Chairman of the Board Joan and Alan Walne, Jennie and Steve Hargrove, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Steven Mackenzie, Mona and Bill Graue, Roger Gault, Amy and Michael Meadows and Zoo Vice President Guest Experience Sean Greene.
Just as it was time to make the announcements of plans, the winds picked up and the weather appeared to be becoming unfriendly. No problem for Kim and her Co-Chair/husband Greg Hext. The podium was moved closer to the covered terrace. After Lois and new Zoo Executive VP Advancement Darryl Griffin welcomed the guests, Kim started announcing plans for the Safari Soiree on Saturday, October 13. Halfway through the Kim’s presentation, the flashy flamingos started squawking on the sidelines. Despite the best efforts of handlers to squelch the squawkers, the birds kept yakking.
Here’s where W.C. could have learned a thing or two from Kim. Instead of trying to talk over the birds, she laughed and knelt down to share the mic with them. Realizing that blond Kim had stolen their limelight, the birds silently left, allowing Kim to reveal this year’s theme would be “Safari Soirée” and the committee lineup would include Honorary Chair Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, Live Auction Co-Chairs Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy, Big Board Chair Cindy Gummer, Silent Auction Co-Chairs Jenna Alexander, Rosalyn Colombo and Nancy Gopez, Host Committee Co-Chairs Barbara and Don Daseke, Honorary Chef Chair Chef Dan Landsberg, Chef Wrangler Brett Kraft, Chef Hospitality Chair Ellen Winspear and an underwriting committee made up Diane Brierley, Mike Gruber and Michael Meadows.
BTW, start saving those pennies now. With Hal, Don and John in charge of the live auction, the items will no doubt be mind-blowing. These guys know how to make dreams come true.
As for the evening’s festivities, there will be grazing around the Zoo with loads of food stations from the area’s top chefs, a silent auction and a live auction. As for the after-hour party with Emerald City All Stars providing the entertainment for the party animals, the Zoo residents will be sound asleep.
Tickets, sponsorships and underwriting opportunities are available now. Suggestion: Lock down the spot that earns you the right to party in the VIP Lounge. Why? Just days after the kick-off party, it was announced that the gorilla couple Hope and Subira had become parents of a beautiful baby girl — Saambili. Needless to say, the VIP Lounge overlooking the gorilla compound is going to be jammed for looky-looks at the newest member of the gorilla troop.
For more faces and critters, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.