For night-time affairs when the guest count is one number, the car count is usually half that number. The reason? Because couples tend to arrive in one car.
That’s why it surprised veteran event planners to see way more than 65 Ferraris, Bentleys and Maseratis hugging the curb along Lakeside Drive for the expected 125 guests at the 2023 Zoo To Do kick-off party on Sunday, May 21.
Sure, there were some, like Diane and Hal Brierley, who just strolled across the way to Gretchen and George Seay’s rejuvenated estate overlooking Connor Park’s Turtle Creek. But the legion of Dallas Zoo supporters, both human and critters, wanted to be on hand for the announcement of plans by 2023 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Thai-Ian Tran and Steven J. Roth.
Unlike other events where there often is a crush of folks in the entry, this one had guests like Lois and Ross Finkelman, Dan Patterson, Joan and Alan Walne, Marena and Roger Gault, Chuck Steelman, Scott Kehn, Julie and Bill Evans, Dawn Moore, Sean Green, Bill Braeman, Carol and Don Glendenning, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Betty Lou Phillips and John Roach moving seamlessly to the backyard. The draw was three-fold — the beautiful grounds, the refreshments and the Dallas Zoo ambassadors.
While the African tortoise made his way across the yard and the cross-eyed opossum plowed through a bowl of live worms, the owl was eyeing guests atop Zoo staffer Alyssa Leslie’s gloved arm. His wide-eyed look was partially due to his developing cataracts. Had he been out in the wild, it would have been a real problem. But due to his zoo habitat and routine, his visual challenges weren’t a big deal.
Live Auction Co-Chair Mary McDermott Cook was just back from a visit to Los Angeles, where she had discussed the Dallas Museum of Art’s architectural plans.
Midway in the evening, Thai-Ian and Steven revealed that philanthropist Lyda Hill would be serving as honorary chair of the fundraiser taking place on Saturday, November 4, at the Zoo. This year’s theme would be “Adventure Awaits,” with an expected 700 guests grazing their way around the grounds.