The 38th “Whitney Zoo-To-Do” at the Audubon Nature Institute is an adults-only black-tie gala to raise funds for the building of a new exhibit for the zoo’s cherished orangutans.  

The May 1 gala fundraiser, Chaired by Catherine Freeman, will feature entertainment by Downtown Fever; a live silent auction as well as one online; a raffle for a new 2015 Lexus NX200t; cuisine from more than 70 local restaurants; and premium cocktails.

(The Friday before, April 24, Jill Pipes will Chair “Zoo-To-Do for Kids,” with numerous stages, games, inflatables, crafts, magicians, face painters, local cuisine, kids snacks and more.)

All proceeds directly benefit the zoo, asserts Whitney Bank President Joe Exnicios. Historically WZTD has played an important role in the zoo’s success, funding popular additions such as Jaguar Jungle and Cool Zoo.

The early bird special ticket discount ends April 3. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and run between $85 to $175 per person.

Sponsors for the gala will be granted exclusive access, parking passes and reserved seating in the Audubon Tea Room, the Garden Tent and the Patron Lounge. The Sponsor and Patron party will start at 7 p.m., and general gala admittance will start at 8 p.m.

To learn more or purchase tickets, visit or call 212-5315, or visit or call 861-6160. To preview some of their auction board items, visit

Special thanks to Ellen Buckley, Director of Zoo-To-Do Events, for all of her assistance.