Over 4,000 attendees at the 41st “Whitney Zoo-To-Do” enjoyed a memorable evening of fine dining and dancing on the picturesque grounds of Audubon Zoo. The theme of this year’s gala was “Celebrate Lions: The Roar Returns!” in honor of the zoo’s new lion exhibit under construction, made possible through a generous donation by Joy and Boysie Bollinger.

The gala featured a mouth-watering array of cuisine from 70 of the city’s most famous eateries as well as specialty and full-service bars serving premium cocktails. This year's Chair was Stephanie Stone Feoli.

Headline entertainment was provided by The Big Beyond with additional activities and musical entertainment throughout the zoo, including: Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Bon Bon Vivant, Bamboula 2000, Uncle Wayne Caricatures and Maverick VR. Guests were also able to enjoy the party without missing a moment of Game 3 of the NBA playoff series between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors thanks to TVs placed throughout the event provided by Event Producers.

Patron benefits included early admittance and all-night access to the Patron Lounge & Patio, featuring upscale cocktail bars and delectable cuisine as well as recognition on printed materials, including event invitation, event program and welcome signage.

The 2018 silent auction featured staycations, recreation packages, jewelry, dining experiences and much more, with all bidding held online and not restricted to gala attendees. Package highlights included: team trips with New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, commissioned artwork by “2018 Whitney Zoo-To-Do” Featured Artist Alex Beard, a Manchester United team experience for two and a progressive dinner at Commander’s Family of Restaurants.

A 2018 Jewelry Raffle presented by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry & Distinctive Gifts included two Roberto Coin handwoven 18 karat yellow and rose gold primavera bracelets featuring a pavé diamond station. Ten participants also won a $250 Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry gift certificate.

Event at a Glance

What: “Whitney Zoo-To-Do,” benefiting Audubon Nature Institute
When: Friday, May 4
Where: Audubon Zoo

Philanthropic Fun: A Roaring Return

CEO Ron and Sally Forman with Myles Carrere, Michele Reynoir and Porter Carrere

Philanthropic Fun: A Roaring Return

Joe and Debbie Exnicios with Ann and John Hairston

Philanthropic Fun: A Roaring Return

Clifton and Elizabeth Leblanc with Malise and Clay Kearney

Philanthropic Fun: A Roaring Return

Anne and Luis Banos 

Philanthropic Fun: A Roaring Return

 Carmen and Kelly Duncan