The Whitney Zoo-To-Do is one of the premiere fundraisers in our city, so the task of planning and executing the party is the honor of the chairman along with a very hardworking staff. This year’s chairman was Virginia Rowan and she and her committee did an outstanding job! The Whitney Zoo-To-Do raises money each year for a different area of the zoo – this year focused on the expansion and improvemnet of the Whitney Asian Domain Elephant Exhibit, which houses Jean and Panya.

Rowan began with the in-house designed invitation, which featured lavish gold and jewel tones, that set the scene for the India-inspired evening. The Tea Room housed the patrons and sponsors, so Rowan decorated the room à la India and enlisted the help of Roland Montalegre of Urban Earth. He helped plan the beautiful side bar tents created by New Orleans Event Rentals and created the Blue River as you walked in and the elaborate tent in the center of the room. Deirdre Hooper was Rowan’s decorating chairman and they, along with their committee, attended to every detail. Paul Norman of Thibodeaux’s Flowers & Gifts created all of the outdoor tent decorations including the fabulous crystal chandeliers with flowers, the elephant with the fabulous fresh flower blanket, flowers for the tables as well as the bird of paradise centerpieces in the Tea Room. How clever of Rowan to put the auction items in the beautifully decorated tent right next to the patrons and sponsors.

Shane French and her committee did a great job of gathering all of the auction items and Melissa Rufty decorated the auction tables “to the nines”!
Blaine Kern Jr. of Mardi Gras Productions always creates a spectacular entrance as well as huge props; he outdid himself to make you think you were in India. Luis Colmenares always decorates the pond as well as creating the table decorations, which, as usual, were sold-out before the night began.
The night of the 32nd Zoo-To-Do proved to be a total success and raised over $1 million! Over 4,000 people enjoyed 85 restaurants, 65 bars and live music from five live bands. What a success for our city even with a downturn in the economy!