NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Audubon Nature Institute and Hancock Whitney announced today that Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do, originally scheduled for September 11, 2020, will not take place because of uncertainties related to COVID-19 circumstances in the foreseeable future. This is the first time in 44 years the event has not taken place.
“We hope that our Audubon family understand that this decision has been very difficult and one that we never imagined having to make,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “We look forward to focusing on the planning and preparations for the 2021 event, and we know that Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do will come back better and stronger in 2021.”
Audubon Nature Institute has suffered a tremendous loss of income due to its facility closures since March 14.
“The decision to cancel Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do was an incredibly difficult decision for Audubon Nature Institute and Hancock Whitney. However, the health and well-being of the people of the Gulf South is a top priority for both organizations,” said Hancock Whitney Senior Regional President Gary Lorio. “We will focus on building an even better Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do for 2021 and look forward to celebrating both Audubon and our city at that time.”
The 2020 Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do Silent Auction and the Luxury Vehicle Raffle drawing will both go on as planned. Supporters can still donate items to the Silent Auction by visiting www.bidpal.net/ZTD until August 1, 2020. The Luxury Vehicle Raffle, which features a 2020 Lexus UX200 worth $35,053 generously donated by LEXUS of New Orleans, will be held on Friday, September 11, 2020 at 10:30 p.m.
Raffle Tickets are $100 each, with a limit of 1,000 being sold. There are currently less than 300 raffle tickets left. One lucky winner will be contacted after the drawing is held. Raffle chances are still being accepted via mail, or can be purchased by calling (504) 861-5107, or by clicking here until 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, September 10, 2020. Contributions to the Luxury Vehicle Raffle will ensure that families can continue celebrating the wonders of nature at Audubon Zoo for generations to come.
As a non-profit organization, Audubon Nature Institute relies on ticket sales, events, and donations to support its mission. Zoo-To-Do fundraising efforts fund critical operations such as caring for animals, staff salaries, and the upkeep of public parks and museums that Audubon stewards for the New Orleans community. The staff and animals of Audubon appreciate 2020 ticket purchasers considering their purchase a donation during this unprecedented pandemic. Please visit www.ZooToDo.org for more information.
Audubon cannot thank its supporters enough during this difficult time, but there is still a long road ahead to recovery. The public can support the animals and parks in Audubon’s care as staff work to sustain core operations and ensure the long-term viability of the organization by visiting Audubon Zoo or donating to the Audubon Recovery Fund.