Santa Ana Zoo's 2015 "Rockin' Round the Zoo at Zoofari High"
Celebrates 23rd Year with Successful Fundraiser
Presented by Friends of Santa Ana Zoo, Over $100,000 was Raised for Educational Programs,
Breaking Ground on New Animal Habitats and More!
The Friends of Santa Ana Zoo (FOSAZ), a non-profit organization, hosted the 23rd annual Zoofari fundraising black-tie gala on August 29, 2015 for around 350 guests with a theme entitled "Rockin' Round the Zoo." Zoofari takes place at one of the most inspiring venues in Orange County, outside and under the stars on the grounds of the Santa Ana Zoo.
Valet parking service was underwritten by Tudor House Productions; guests enjoyed a first-class dining experience catered by Parties by Panache with a hosted bar including a special "Love Potion #9" signature drink made with Tito's Handmade vanilla vodka, root beer and vanilla ice cream. Decorations were provided by R.W.B. Party Rentals creating a creative 50's theme throughout event site.
"For more than 20 years, Zoofari has played an integral role in raising the funds needed for all the special projects and improvements going on here at our favorite community zoo including educational programs, breaking ground on new animal habitats, tackling important conservation initiatives, introducing new rides and upgrading service facilities for our guests to use and enjoy," says Cathi Decker, event host and Executive Director of FOSAZ.
Guests began the night being greeted by various animals and their docent "handlers". An Armadillo, Blue Tongue Skink, Spectacled Owl and a Green Iguana were just some of the animals that welcomed everyone as they entered the Santa Ana Zoo. Guests were also privy to tour the zoo grounds and see the new Ocelot Exhibit and of course the 50 monkeys the Santa Ana Zoo is famous for.
Former Executive Director of Santa Ana's Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Agency "Rip" Ribble was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening with Kimberly Fladeboe Anderson as auctioneer for the live auction, assisted by FOSAZ Board Member Debbie Newmeyer.
Honorees this year include FOSAZ Board Members Patti Mickey, Patty McClendon and Steve McGuigan. Mickey was instrumental in making the Ocelot Exhibit a reality, McClendon was selected due to her continuing support over the many years, giving monthly to projects throughout the Santa Ana Zoo and McGuigan was voted on as someone who has made a huge impact on events at the Santa Ana Zoo over many years in sound and entertainment.
During the program, it was announced the planned $2 million dollar facelift to the Amazon's Edge exhibit making room for 2 Giant River Otters. With a fundraising effort underway for $600,000, the Santa Ana City Council pledged $1.4 million towards this exhibit.
The event netted over $100,000 and this year they raised a record breaking $3,300 in opportunity tickets for two lucky winners to name the Ocelots. The live and silent auction netted about $54,000 which also includes $7,300 towards Zoo Wish List items and funding towards the Ocelot climbing tree.
The live auction items up for grabs were an Apple Watch donated by Board Member Howard Hall; a one week stay at Villa del Palmar Cabo San Lucas Beach Resort & Spa donated by Board Member Curtis Farrell with airfare provided by Alaska Airlines; a private tour for 6 of the Santa Ana Zoo with a behind the scenes look with Zoo Director Kent Yamaguchi and lunch donated by Knowlwood Restaurants; a Michael Kors tote donated by Board Member Patty McClendon stuffed with 100 California Scratchers donated by Board Member Rip Ripple and over $800 in cash which was donated by the FOSAZ board and the zoo staff; the Ultimate Guy's bag - an Oakley Backpack stuffed with 2 pairs of Oakley Frog skin sunglasses along with a golf package for 4 at the Marriott's Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert, a STX Taylor made right handed putter and 100 California Scratchers donated by Advisory Board Members Bill and Donel Wiles, and a 7 day/6 night stay at the Cathedral Canyon Country Club Resort donated by Board Member Patty McClendon; a Superbowl Bash catered dinner party with beer pairings at your home hosted by Parties by Panache for 12.
After the program, guests danced until midnight to the dynamic tunes of the Groove Factory.
Zoofari is chaired by Cathi Decker and sponsored by FOSAZ, a non-profit organization which has helped support and improve the Zoo for over 43 years.