The animals at the Dallas Zoo boo-hooed when they learned that there would be no 2020 Zoo To Do this past November. They really got a kick watching all those two-legged people grazing the grounds and partying to raise funds for the critters’ room and board. No matter how hard Dallas Zoo President/CEO Gregg Hudson and Executive VP/COO Sean Greene tried to explain the reason was due to the pandemic, the Zoo residents were baffled. “What’s a pandemic? Is it an invasion of panda bears?”
But the animals were this side of thrilled when they learned that the Dallas Zoo lovers were rising to the occasion, literally, to hold a get-together that was both safe and, hopefully, fund-raisingly successful.
According to Gregg, “We would have loved nothing more than to welcome guests to the Zoo for our traditional Zoo To Do fundraiser, but it simply was not possible. As was the theme for almost all of 2020, we pivoted and found a way to bring some of the best parts of Zoo To Do to an even broader audience with our Wild Night In virtual event.”
Think of it as Zoo To Do virtually reimagined into Wild Night In on Thursday, January 28. It’s the perfect evening for a Zoo event with a full moon overhead. But instead of being outside, guests will stay hunkered down with their screens, giving them “a closer look at the work that went on and the fun that was still had despite the challenges the Zoo faced as an organization in 2020.”
In addition to the insider look, there will be a live online auction and a raffle.
Thanks to a herd of sponsors (American Airlines, The Eugene McDermot Foundation, Diane and Hal Brierley, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, Kate and Lane Brittain, The Gummer Gang, Carol and John Levy, Locke Lord/Carol and Don Glendenning, Dawn and Steve Moore, PetroCap LLC, Gayla and Jim Von Ehr, Lori and Chuck Whitten and more), the event is free for the viewing when it’s streamed on the Zoo’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel starting at 6:30 p.m. The plan calls for it to last 45 minutes.
But while it’s free for one and all, the smart ones will RSVP. Not only will they receive event updates and information about the online auction, they’ll also “receive a digital event guide that will include social media stickers, recipes to snack and sip along and a ‘party animal playlist.'”
For the big-time spenders who want even more action, there are still underwriting levels starting at $750 that include all types of perks like attending the virtual patron party and/or receiving a Wild Night In party kit the day of the event.
Gregg added, “We all know 2020 was a year like no other, and that was particularly true for the Zoo, as we faced multimillion-dollar financial losses because of an extended closure, and limited guest capacity once we were able to safely reopen. The fundraising we do through an event like Wild Night In is more critical now than it ever has been, and we’re looking forward to a great response from those who join us for this year’s virtual celebration.”
* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Zoo