ZOO TO DO 2017: Animal Gathering presented by The Eugene McDermott Foundation Surpasses its $1 Million Goal

(Featured photo: Don and Barbara Daseke, Zoo To Do 2017 chairs.)*

Zoo To Do 2017: Animal Gathering presented by The Eugene McDermott Foundation, surpassed $1,000,000 in funds raised for the third consecutive year! The Zoo was successful in raising more money to support its animals and programs this year, continuing to exceed its fundraising goals and increasing the amount raised each year.

Chaired by Barbara and Don Daseke, the event’s smashing success was the result of the hard work of underwriting chairs Kate and Lane Britain, host committee chairs Barbara and Steve Durham, former Zoo To Do co-chairs, live auction chairs Diane and Hal Brierley, also former Zoo To Do chairs, committee members and support from honorary event chair Mary McDermott Cook, patrons, underwriters, and sponsors.

Arriving guests were greeted by valets sponsored by Highland Park Village and interactive animal demonstrations in the Simmons Safari Base Camp Deck, which brought home the real reason everyone supports the Dallas Zoo.

Guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the Simmons Hippo Outpost presented by Neiman Marcus and then moved down to the Wilds of Africa Plaza for the raffle and Big Board Auction. In the Giants of Savanna, mixologists served specialty drinks while Honorary Chef Chair Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa, along with Chef Wrangler Brett Krafft from the Hilton Lincoln Centre cruised the strolling dinner with guests among the 23 restaurant stations representing the finest restaurants in Dallas. At each station, executive chefs served delicious gourmet treats of appetizers, entrée specialties, and desserts.  Chef chair was Sarah Barr.

Entering the Wilds of Africa plaza, guests were treated to even more delicious bites from Dallas Zoo Catering’s Chef Ian Feiwus and Hypnotic Donuts. The show began as Gregg Hudson, president and CEO, the Dallas Zoo, recognized Joan Walne, chairman of the board and thanked everyone for their support and attending this evening’s event. He brought the chairs on stage who also expressed their heartfelt thanks to everyone for their generosity benefiting the Dallas Zoo, support of this event and encouraged high bidding on the live auction items, next up.

The spirited live auction began which featured rare Zoo experiences, travel, and some favorites: overnight camping “Glamping” at the Dallas Zoo, All Star Chef Dine Around for 10 sold by Chefs Dan Landsberg, David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Gilbert Garza of Suze, Janice Provost of Parigi and Omar Flores of Whistle Britches; VIP Ellen Degeneres Show Tickets plus Warner Bros. Studio tour, hotel stay and passage on official Zoo To Do airline, American Airlines. Following the auction, guests danced the night away with music from Emerald City All Stars.

Spotted in the crowd were Kathy and Kevin Hanrahan, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, Gayla and Jim Von Ehr, Carol and Don Glendenning, Margaret Kelleher, Jennifer and Peter Altabef, Kara and Randall Goss, former chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer, and many more.

As guests left, they were given goodie bags filled with treats and the latest publications from media sponsors PaperCity Magazine, Park Cities News/The Waters Family, Downtown Business News and special mentions in MySweetCharity.com.
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.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.dallaszootodo.com .


Chef Ian Feiwus, Dallas Zoo Catering



Participating Restaurants were:

Abacus, Chef Chris Patrick

Asador, Chef Brad Phillips

Café Momentum, Chef Patton Robertson

Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Chef Lan Nickens

Dallas Zoo Catering, Chef Ian Feiwus

Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa, Chef Dan Landsberg

Empire Baking Company, Chef Meadors Ozarow

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, Chef Jacob Williamson

Hypnotic Donuts, Chef Chrysta Ordonez

Lovers Seafood and Market, Chef Aaron Staudenmaier

Meso Maya, Chef Nico Sanchez

Mozzarella Company, Chef Paula Lambert

Neiman Marcus, Chef David Crow

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Highland Park, Tara Cooper

Ocean Prime, Chef Sonny Pache

Parigi, Chef Janice Provost

Pink Magnolia, Chef Bythe Beck

Rosewood Ranches Wagyu Beef, Chef James Pettus

Salum, Chef Abraham Salum

Savor Gastropub, Chef John Coleman

SER Steak + Spirits, Chef Mike Shetsky

Sevy’s Grill, Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson

Shinsei, Chef Carlos Capistran

Suze, Chef Gilbert Garza

Two Sisters Catering, Chef Jesse Ragon

Whistle Britches, Chef Omar Flores

About the Dallas Zoo: The Dallas Zoo, recently 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. DART is the official transportation provider of the Dallas Zoo, and its Red Line stops at the Zoo’s main entrance.


  • Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky and Cathy Burkey.

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent Zoo To Do.)


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.