On Friday, July 13, 2012, The Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo transported guests to the elegance of the Hamptons for a glamorous evening of cocktails, entertainment, dancing and gourmet dining at its 35th annual Zoo Ball: The Great Catsby, presented by Guggenheim. Over 1,000 guests attended the black-tie affair, with funds raised for Lincoln Park Zoo totaling more than $1 million. The evening was made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor, Guggenheim; Silver Sponsor, J.N. Pritzker/Tawani Foundation/Pritzker Military Library; Entertainment sponsors, Marcus Lemonis and Beth Levine; Sentient Jet; and United Airlines.
Guests entered the enchanted evening through the East Gate of the zoo and were greeted by dramatic sweeping tents that sprawled across zoo grounds. Refreshing cocktails were served on the promenade, as attendees floated in and out of the tented silent auction. An array of kindly donated items shared the space with a chic Leopard Lounge, situated directly across from the Kovler Lion House and decorated in sophisticated variations of the playful print with punchy pinks and greens.
In true “Catsby” form, a lion’s roar signaled guests to be seated in the reception tent for a delectable dinner that was generously underwritten by Presenting Sponsor, Guggenheim. J&L Catering crafted a gourmet, three-course meal, served under stunning chandeliers and twinkling lights provided by Frost Lighting. Following short remarks from Women’s Board President, Abby Zanarini and co-chairs, Suzanne A. Meder and Cynthia Ross Polayes, guests enjoyed the musical renderings of Rendezvous throughout the seated dinner.
Just before dessert, partygoers were treated to a special, top-secret performance by “the kings of disco,” Village People, made possible by the generosity of Entertainment Sponsors, Marcus Lemonis and Beth Levine. Guests leapt to their feet and hit the dance floor to enjoy cult classics like, “Macho Man,” “In the Navy,” and “YMCA.” At the close of the event, attendees received exclusive gift bags that contained John Derian glass momentos provided by Guggenheim, along with cool treats from Pinkberry and late-night slices of pizza from Connie’s Pizza and Catering truck.
Proceeds from the hugely successful ball will support the Women’s Board pledge to the zoo’s Nature Boardwalk and will provide critical support to maintain this community landmark of Chicago that is one of the last free zoos in the nation.
Enjoy photos of the event below:
Photos by Bob Carl, Alain Milotti and John Reilly Photographers