The 43rd “Zoo-To-Do” gala fundraiser was held Thursday, October 28, 2021, at the Audubon Zoo, accented by beautiful wetlands-chic décor following a whooping crane theme. The event, usually held the first Friday in May, was rescheduled due to the pandemic and scaled down to a Sponsors & Patrons only experience to accommodate COVID safety measures.

Patrons’ benefits included specialty entertainment, cocktails and delectable cuisine, while Sponsors enjoyed the addition of recognition on printed materials, including the event invitation, program and welcome signage, as well as the Audubon Nature Institute Annual Report.

More than 25 of New Orleans’ most famous eateries provided an array of cuisine, as well as specialty and full-service bars crafting premium cocktails. The headline entertainment on the Capital One Bank Stage was Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers. Also performing were the Electric Yat Quartet on the Miriam Walmsley Cooper Plaza and the Cajun Music Preservation Society at the Lupin Arrival Plaza/Front Gate.

A Luxury Vehicle Raffle of a 2021 LEXUS UX200, generously donated by LEXUS of New Orleans, sold out before the event. Nine additional raffle prizes included a Freeport-McMoRan Species Survival Center Tour with Family Plus Membership; an After-Hours Audubon Zoo Tour for six; charcuterie from Graze + Friends and an Audubon Family Plus Membership; an off-shore fishing trip with Southern Way Charters; a three-night vacation in Orange Beach, Alabama; artwork by Hunt Slonem and Clare Henderson; jewelry from Friend & Co. and Diamonds Direct; and a $1,000 gift card to Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights.

Contributions from Chap’s Rental Service; CHL Linens, Inc.; Distressed Rentals and Revival; Dunn & Sonnier Antiques, Flowers & Gifts; Element Productions; Federico’s Family Florist; Firefly Ambiance; Kim Starr Wise Floral Events; NOLA Flora; Pyramid Audio Productions; and Whole Foods Arabella Station contributed to the décor.

Hancock Whitney served as Title Sponsor. In attendance were Gala Chairman Dr. Leslie P. Gottsegen and husband Dr. G. Bradley Gottsegen, and Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman and wife Sally Forman.

Follow Audubon Nature Institute on Facebook @AudubonNatureInstitute, on Twitter @AudubonNature and on Instagram @AudubonInstitute

Event At A Glance

What: “2021 Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do,” benefiting the Audubon Nature Institute

When: Thursday, October 28, 2021



Audubon Zoo

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Representing Title Sponsor Hancock Whitney Gary Lorio and Joe Exnicios with Sally and Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman

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Representing Children’s Hospital New Orleans Dr. Ellis Arjmand, Chairwoman Dr. Leslie P. Gottsegen and Kelly Duncan

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Poco and Liz Sloss with representing Lexus of New Orleans Clifton and Elizabeth LeBlanc  

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Stephanie and Ludovico Feoli with Jodi Yuspeh

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Terrah Green with Field and Michelle Ogden  

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Zoo-To-Do for Kids Chairwoman Betsy Laborde with Katie Stream and Anne Long