ZOO TO DO 2016: 25th Anniversary Silver Safari Kicks Off Among the Giants of the Savanna

Join us on Saturday, October 1, 2016

(Featured slideshow photo: Don Glendenning, John Levy, Hal Brierley, chairs of the 25th Anniversary Silver Safari Zoo To Do. Photo by Cathy Burkey.)

Zoo To Do kicked-off the celebration of its 25th Anniversary Silver Safari with a private soirée at the Dallas Zoo recently.  A cool breeze was in the air and everyone was in a festive mood as they boarded the trams piloting them to the Simmons Safari Base Camp featuring a close-up view of the Giants of the Savanna, the exhibit ranked No. 1 in Texas by USA Today’s 10 Best travel rankings. Little did anyone know that just four days later, a male African elephant calf would be born to Mlilo, one of the elephants rescued by the Zoo from drought-stricken Swaziland earlier this year.

Zoo To Do chairs Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy set the scene with the perfect backdrop for photos outside, showcasing the elephants roaming around their habitat, and inside, a table set with photos from the past 25 years along with gourmet delights created by the Zoo’s Executive Chef, Jacob Hunter, paired with wines curated by Hayley Cogill, a certified sommelier and certified specialist of wine.

Special appearances were made by hometown guests, including Chimalsi the African crested porcupine, and a beautiful flamingo strutted the scene welcoming everyone, which brought smiles from the crowd.
Gregg Hudson, president and CEO of the Dallas Zoo, thanked everyone for their support and for attending the evening’s event. Joan Walne, Zoo board chair, announced that this is the 25th anniversary of Zoo To Do and introduced the three Zoo To Do chairs: Brierley, Glendenning and Levy.

Mr. Glendenning thanked Mary McDermott Cook, who has signed on as honorary chair, saying Mary is the one who made the zoo cool, and who recruited many of her friends attending the event to stay dedicated to the Zoo, now with over 1 million visitors a year. He gave her a hug and a round of applause from all filled the air. The Eugene McDermott Foundation is the presenting sponsor of this year’s Zoo To Do.

Mr. Levy thanked Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Christy Berry, Host Committee chairs; Decorations chair Ellen Winspear; Underwriting chair Kevin Hanrahan; Live Auction Committee chair Barbara Daseke; Silent Auction chair Denise Zook-Glazer; and Diane Brierley and Cindy Gummer, who have signed on as Past Chair Committee co-chairs.

Ms. Gummer  invited all of the past chairs to the front for a photo, announcing 1992 and 1993 chairs Ruth Mutch and Christy Berry; 1994, Amy and Michael Meadows; 1998, Nancy Saustad; 2000, Diane Brierley; 2002, Laura and Tom Leppert; 2005, Barb and Steve Durham; 2006, Mary McDermott Cook; 2009, Patty and Dennis Stone; 2010, Ellen and Don Winspear; 2012, Diane and Mike Gruber; 2013, Emily and David Corrigan; and 2014, Tiffany and Paul Divis. She finished up by saying, “And Chuck and I chaired in 2015, along with our wonderful sons, Chris, Jay and Ryan Gummer!”


Characterizing the three 2016 chairs as the “Three Amigos,” Mr. Brierley brought chuckles from the crowd, saying they have now broken the “Glass Floor” in chairing this event and expressed heartfelt thanks to all of their supporters and friends.

Helping create this memorable party were Honorary Chef Dan Landsberg and Chef Chair Sarah Barr, both of Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa, along with Chef Wrangler Brett Krafft of the Hilton Anatole.

Slated for Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at the Dallas Zoo, guests and patrons of Zoo To Do 2016 Silver Safari will stroll through the award-winning Giants of the Savanna exhibit, sample exquisite dishes from over 25 of Dallas’s premier chefs and restaurants, and enjoy interactive animal demonstrations and musical entertainment. Following dinner, guests will move to the Wilds of Africa plaza for a live auction featuring rare Zoo experiences, travel and more! Finally, partygoers will dance the night away with music from Party Machine.

Zoo To Do is a major source of funding for the Dallas Zoo. With the proceeds from the event, the Zoo is able to continue providing outstanding education, entertainment, and wildlife conservation.


Sponsorships range from $7,500 to $50,000. Underwriting ranges from $7,500 to $100,000. Individual tickets are $750 each and a VIP ticket pack is $3,000. For more information, visit the website at http://www.DallasZooToDo.com or contact Stephanie Thompson, events manager at 469-554-7441 or email her at Stephanie.Thompson@DallasZoo.com.


About the Dallas Zoo: The Dallas Zoo, named one of the nation’s Top 10 Zoos by USA TODAY, 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 5 p.m. For more information, visit DallasZoo.com or call 469.554.7500.

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent the Zoo To Do 2016, the 25th Anniversary Silver Safari.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.