Chicago Zoological Society’s Whirl Fundraiser raises $1.3 million+
Chicago Zoological Society Vice Chair Rick Elfman of Glencoe and Allison Jennings of Northfield | Photo courtesy of Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society
EVENT: “It’s a Wonderful Whirl”
BENEFITING: The animals at Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Zoological Society’s conservation & education programs
DATE: April 21, 2012
LOCATION: Brookfield Zoo
RAISED: $1.3 million+
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:16AM
The Women’s Board of the Chicago Zoological Society, in partnership with the Society’s Board of Trustees, hosted the 31st annual Whirl at Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, April 21. The theme for this year’s black-tie fundraiser was “It’s A Wonderful Whirl” and highlighted the Society’s legacy of animal care, compassion, and conservation.
The gala, which drew more than 700 business and civic leaders from the Chicagoland area, began with cocktails where guests had the unique opportunity to get up close and mingle with a variety of amazing exotic creatures, including a flamingo, bald eagle, fennec fox, penguin, llama, red-tailed hawk, great-horned owl, and a lynx, from both Brookfield Zoo and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
A three-course dinner catered by Food for Thought and dancing to the music of Maggie Speaks followed in the Grand Tent, which was brilliantly decorated in a tiger theme by The Flower Firm. Prior to dinner being served, guests were treated to a special appearance by a cheetah, courtesy of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Additionally, children whose lives have benefited from programs supported by the Chicago Zoological Society made brief comments.
Guests supported the Society by participating in a paddle raise, raffle, and live auction in which there was a chance to win fabulous prizes, including a priceless animal naming for an aardvark, 18-karat white gold and diamond earrings totaling 1.67 carats courtesy of A. Marek Fine Jewelry, two Chicago White Sox packages that include a 14-person skybox, a Chicago Cubs package featuring a throwing out of the first pitch and a 13-person suite; and a luxury vacation package.
“It’s A Wonderful Whirl” was hosted by a committee that included Mr. and Mrs. Walter W. Becky III, Elizabeth and James Bramsen, Merrick M. Elfman, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Holden, Vicki and Bill Hood, Kay and Fred Krehbiel, Susan Crown and William C. Kunkler III, Kate and Jack Shaffer, Mr. and Mrs. David B. Speer, Cherryl T. Thomas, Gretchen and John Trofa, and Michelle and Tom Wake.
Proceeds from this year’s Whirl, which grossed more than $1.3 million, will support the animals at Brookfield Zoo, as well as the Chicago Zoological Society’s conservation and education programs.
The Women’s Board of the Chicago Zoological Society supports community outreach such as school sponsorships and provides financial assistance for animal care, conservation programs, and special projects. This Board has supported Brookfield Zoo since 1992, and its membership of approximately 85 women represents the entire Chicago area.
The Chicago Zoological Society inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for Brookfield Zoo’s innovative, naturalistic, multispecies exhibits and for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. For further information, visit CZS.org.