“Whitney Zoo-To-Do” celebrated its 39th anniversary in 2016 with its annual adults-only black-tie gala at the Audubon Zoo on Friday, May 6. This year, the event was dedicated to the restoration of Audubon Zoo’s Tropical Bird House, and approximately 4,700 guests were in attendance. Combined with “Zoo-To-Do for Kids,” presented by Tulane Pediatrics, the two events generate more than $1.2 million annually.
New Orleans’ finest florists, outstanding audio and prestigious production companies transformed the zoo. These included NOLA Flora, CHL linens, New Orleans Event Rental, Firefly Ambiance and Pyramid Audio Productions. Reminding guests that “Whitney Zoo-To-Do” was celebrating restoration of the Tropical Birdhouse, Crescent City Aerial Arts performers were staged throughout the zoo to flit and flutter overhead. The event also featured more than 70 restaurants and more than 60 specialty and full-service cocktail bars.
The Main Stage entertainment was Emerald City, a Dallas-based 13-piece band who played high-energy dance songs and today’s hits. Other performers were Al “Lil’ Fats” Jackson, Treme Brass Band and the Uptown Electric String Quartet.
The silent auction featured exotic vacations, collectibles for the sports enthusiast, gorgeous jewelry, dining experiences and much more. The Luxury Vehicle Raffle featured a 2016 Lexus ES350 generously donated by LEXUS of New Orleans.
Caroline Calhoun served as the Gala Chairwoman. Honorary Chairmen included Mr. and Mrs. Tom Benson Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. Prentiss C. Havens; Mr. Maurice L. Lagarde III; The Honorable Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell J. Landrieu; The Honorable Walter J. Leger III; The Honorable Helena N. Moreno; Lt. Gov. William H. Nungesser; The Honorable Nadine M. Ramsey; and Mr. William Boatner Reily II (posthumously).
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “Whitney Zoo-To-Do,” benefiting Audubon Nature Institute
When: Friday, May 6
Where: Audubon Zoo