Dallas Zoo’s Largest Annual Fundraiser Goes VIRTUAL for the First Time!

Zoo To Do Gala is reimagined as a “Wild Night In” for all, becomes a free online event

For the first time ever, the Dallas Zoo’s annual Zoo To Do fundraiser is relocating – to the internet! The Zoo To Do gala that would have been hosted at the Zoo in late 2020 has been reinvented as “Wild Night In,” a virtual fundraiser to be streamed online on January 28, 2021.

Wild Night In will feature familiar faces from the Dallas Zoo (both human and animal), giving virtual “guests” 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. The audience will have opportunities to support the Zoo during the event by bidding in a live online auction, participating in a raffle, or making a direct donation.

The virtual fundraiser will be streamed on the Zoo’s website, as well as on its Facebook page and YouTube channel. The live feed will begin with a countdown starting at 6:15 p.m. CST on Thursday, January 28, and the main event will start at 6:30 p.m. CST that evening. The program is set to run for approximately 45 minutes. If you are not able to join the event live, a video replay will remain available on the Zoo’s website and YouTube channel for you to watch at your leisure.

“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,” said Gregg Hudson, president and CEO of the Dallas Zoo.

“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,” said Hudson.

Go All Out for Wild Night In

Given the tremendous need for support, the Zoo is asking us to go all out for Wild Night In! There are many ways to engage with and support the Zoo’s virtual fundraising event. You can find details and updates about the event at DallasZoo.com/WildNightIn.

You can get in on the action soon by bidding in the online auction for items that include artwork and Zoo experiences or by purchasing a raffle ticket for a chance to win an animal encounter. Bidding opens soon (be on the lookout for an update from the Zoo!) and ends February 1 at 6:00 p.m. CST.

The event’s new online format means anyone, anywhere can have a Wild Night In with the Dallas Zoo. Using a computer or mobile device with access to the internet, you can easily enjoy the streaming event.

It is free to simply watch the virtual event, but be sure to RSVP here in advance so the Zoo can send you event updates and information about the online auction.

Plus, everyone who RSVPs will receive a digital event guide to help you make the most of your night. From social media stickers and recipes for sips and snacks, to a “party animal” playlist for your evening, the digital event guide is a must-have to make this event a Wild Night In!

You can elevate your Wild Night In experience by supporting the Zoo at a pre-set level starting at $750 to get additional perks, like an invite to the virtual Patron Party or a Wild Night In party kit delivered to your house on January 28 ahead of the event.

Special Thanks

Thank you to longtime sponsor American Airlines for continuing its commitment this year as the Official Airline for the Zoo’s Wild Night In event.

See the following pages for special recognition of our event donors and host committee. Now more than ever, the Dallas Zoo is incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from its generous community. Money raised from this year’s Wild Night In event will help the nonprofit Dallas Zoo continue to recover from the overwhelming financial impact the pandemic had on its operations in 2020. Supporting the Zoo now, and throughout the year, is key to ensuring the success of its mission of Engaging People & Saving Wildlife.

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About the Dallas Zoo: The Dallas Zoo is dedicated to Creating a Better World for Animals. Named one of the nation’s Top 10 Zoos by USA Today, it is the largest zoological experience in Texas. The zoo has been accredited continuously by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums for 36 years, and 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 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. currently), 364 days a year. For more information, visit DallasZoo.com or call 469.554.7500.

Thank you to our Wild Night In donors:

Official Zoo To Do Airline

American Airlines

Pod of Hippos ($50,000 and up)

The Eugene McDermott Foundation

Troop of Gorillas ($25,000 – $49,999)

Diane and Hal Brierley

Ruth O’Donnell Mutch

Tower of Giraffes ($15,000 – $24,999)

Kate and Lane Britain

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

Flamboyance of Flamingos ($7,500 – $14,999)

Amanda and Michael Andereck

ANDRES Construction

Jackson Walker

Overhead Door Corporation

Aimee and Royce Ramey / Tolleson Wealth Management

Nancy and Doug Rabe

Ruth Robinson and Family

Lisa K. Simmons

Joan and Alan Walne

Waddle of Penguins ($5,000- $7,499)

Purvi and Bill Albers

Barbara and Steve Durham

GuideIT, LLC

Kim and Greg Hext

Kathy and Greg Nelson

Janiece and Jimmy Niemann

Stephen Penrose

Steven J. Roth and Thai-lan Tran

VIP Couple ($3,000 – $4,999)

Barbara and Don Daseke

Alina and Ruben Esquivel

Lois and Ross Finkelman

Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer

Sarah and Alan Losinger

Jill and David Mellinger

PwC

Jeff and Darrel Rice

Gloria and Juan Ernesto Snead

Ellen and Donald Winspear

VIP Individual ($1,500-$2,999)

Sandra Estess

Julie and Bill Evans

Kathy and Kevin Hanrahan

Sharon and Gregg Hudson

Dan Patterson

Gail and Bill Plummer

Carolyn and Karl Rathjen

Individual ($750-$1,499)

Tiffany and Bobby Abtahi

Nicole and Justin Anderson

Lee Bailey

Rebecca and Ronald Gafford

Tiffani and Steven Mackenzie

Alice and Erle Nye

Thank you to our Wild Night In Host Committee:

Tiffany and Bobby Abtahi

Purvi and Bill Albers

Jennifer and Peter Altabef

Mary and Travis Andres

Lee Bailey

Jayda Batchelder

Diane and Hal Brierley

Kate and Lane Britain

Connie and Denny Carreker

Robyn and Chris Chauvin

Mary McDermott Cook

Emily and David Corrigan

Barbara and Don Daseke

Alina and Ruben Esquivel

Julie and Bill Evans

Lois and Ross Finkelman

Marena and Roger Gault

Carol and Don Glendenning

Cindy and Chuck Gummer

Alisha and Chris Gummer

Cameron and Jay Gummer

Michelle and Ryan Gummer

Karen and Wayne Hamilton

Erin and Paul Haney

Kathy and Kevin Hanrahan

Kim and Greg Hext

Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fisher

Laura and Tom Leppert

Carol and John Levy

Sarah and Alan Losinger

Tiffani and Steven Mackenzie

Maria Martineau

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Jill and David Mellinger

Jared Miller

Jerry Miller

Dawn and Steve Moore

Ruth O’Donnell Mutch

Kathy and Greg Nelson

Dan Patterson

Stephen Penrose

Nancy and Doug Rabe

Jeff and Darrel Rice

Helen and Frank Risch

Ruth Robinson

Stefanie Schneidler and Jeffery Robinson

Gretel and Justin Shipley

Gloria and Juan Ernesto Snead

Tamela Thornton

Margaret and Mark Walsh

C.W. Whitaker

Lori and Chuck Whitten

Aimee Williams-Ramey and Royce Ramey

Ellen and Don Winspear

Thai-Ian Tran and Steven Roth

Joan and Alan Walne

Cynthia Yung

*as of 1.11.21

SharonAdams

Principal of Charity 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.