More than 4,000 attendees enjoyed a memorable evening of fine dining and dancing on the picturesque grounds of Audubon Zoo at the annual philanthropic event featuring a mouth-watering array of cuisine from 70 of the city’s most famous eateries and specialty and full-service bars serving premium cocktails.
The theme of this year’s “Zoo-To-Do” events was “Reaching New Heights in Giraffe Conservation!” in honor of Audubon’s conservation work with giraffes at Audubon Zoo and Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.
Festive African décor carried the giraffe theme throughout the zoo with lighting and floral accents. Pyramid Audio Productions created an LED Talking Giraffe Wall at Goldring Plaza. Patrons enjoyed early admittance and all-night access to the Patron Lounge & Patio, featuring upscale cocktail bars and delectable cuisine.
Musical entertainment and activities were staged throughout five areas of the zoo. The Main Attraction Band took the headliner stage with support by Vivaz. Ambush Band and Electric String Quartet entertained guests as they walked and danced around the plazas, as well as Uncle Wayne Caricatures and Boogie Booth on Sea Lion Road.
The 2019 silent auction, with bidding entirely online, featured staycations, recreation packages, jewelry, dining experiences and much more. Highlights included team trips with the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, a three-night stay at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in California, a Manchester United team experience for two and an opportunity to meet the giraffe herd and other endangered animals at the Audubon Species Survival Center.
A highly popular 2019 LEXUS ES350 Luxury Vehicle Raffle donated by LEXUS of New Orleans sold out before the event. The 2019 Chance to Win presented by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry & Distinctive Gifts offered an opportunity for one lucky winner to receive a Rolex, as well as for 10 participants to win a $250 Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry gift certificate.
Serving as the “2019 Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do” Gala Chairman was Carmen L. Duncan and husband J. Kelly Duncan.
Event at a Glance
What: “Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do,” benefiting Audubon Zoo
When: Friday, May 3
Where: Audubon Zoo
Joe and Debbie Exnicios with Gary and Carolyn Lorio
2019 Chairwoman Carmen Duncan (seated center) and President and CEO Ron Forman (center back) with past Zoo-to-Do Queens
Kevin Clifford, Poco Sloss and Dr. George Cary
Stephanie and Ludovico Feoli with Ileana Feoli
Martin Irons and Leah Brown