The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s (GLAZA) annual Beastly Ball is set for Saturday, May 20, 2017, 6:00 p.m., at the L.A. Zoo, a trusted leader in animal conservation. This year’s signature fundraiser celebrates the L.A. Zoo’s 50th Anniversary and features a performance with legendary guitarist and noted wildlife advocate Slash in an exclusive live concert backed by Jimmy Vivino and The Basic Cable Band (Conan O’Brien Show), who will perform a mix of blues and R&B, joined by special guests Jack Black, Grace Potter and Bernard Fowler. The Ball honors Wallis Annenberg and The Annenberg Foundation and bestows the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award on the National Geographic Society, represented by Gary E. Knell, President and CEO.
For those not able to attend in person, Live Nation, NextVR, and Citi, will exclusively broadcast the entire concert in virtual reality. In addition to the show, fans will also have extraordinary virtual access to “Backstage with Citi” – rare behind the scenes footage as Slash prepares to take the stage. The live VR content will be available on a Google Daydream or Samsung Gear VR headset, along with a compatible smartphone, by downloading the NextVR app from the Oculus store for GearVR or the Google Play store for Daydream. Fans can go to http://www.nextvr.com/livenation for additional details on the concert and are encouraged to make a donation at www.joinslash.lazoo.org
Beastly Ball proceeds in part support the Zoo’s new Species Conservation Action Network (SCAN), including a dedicated Curator of Conservation whose sole focus will be to identify and respond to urgent animal conservation issues around the world. Beastly Ball guests, invited to dress in “safari casual” attire, stroll through the Zoo during a rare after-hours visit observing its inhabitants, watching animal feedings, chatting with keepers, viewing small animals up close, and enjoying entertainment and dining on bountiful fare provided by some of L.A.’s most popular restaurants. Also featured are a live auction and an online mobile-bidding silent auction – open to the public — comprised of hundreds of remarkable items and one-of-a-kind opportunities, plus opportunities to donate a Program Book ad or make other gifts.
“I’m honored and proud to be a part of the L.A. Zoo’s 50th Anniversary Beastly Ball,” said Slash. “It’s going to be the biggest yet, and I’m really looking forward to jamming live with some good friends.”
The Ball is known as “one of the best parties in Los Angeles” (KCBS/KCAL TV News) and “one the most important fund-raisers” (LA Times). The Honorable Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, is Honorary Chair.
According to GLAZA President Connie Morgan, “As the Zoo celebrates 50 years of leadership in exceptional animal welfare and its role as a key player in major conservation projects that protect animal species from extinction, GLAZA’s Board of Trustees looks ahead to the next 50 by building upon five decades of major support for the Zoo. Our goal to raise $3 million at the Beastly Ball to establish SCAN’s Curator of Conservation position and fund it for the future will, we believe, profoundly impact animal conservation, which is essential to the future of the Zoo and to the planet.”
L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis says, “The Zoo, with its decades of institutional knowledge and scientific expertise, will utilize SCAN to build solutions and connect the best people and programs, inside and outside the zoo profession, to act in a coordinated effort to address pressing and critical species survival issues. The Zoo may not be the Ark but we are shipbuilders!”
The Annenberg Foundation, established in 1989, is a family foundation that supports the worldwide community through grantmaking, technical assistance and direct charitable activities. Led by its Chairman, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg, a lifelong champion of animal welfare, the Foundation has provided support for an array of initiatives focusing on wildlife, service animals and pets. Later this year, the Foundation will open the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, an interactive community center for people and pets, in Playa Vista, CA. The PetSpace offers a unique and innovative approach to adoption and training that is designed to help strengthen the bond we share with our pets through education, science, collaboration and thought leadership. Through its Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute, the center will stand at the forefront of academic thought on the human-animal bond.
“I’ve been an animal lover all my life, and protecting and caring for animals — both in the wild, and in our homes — has been at the center of my philanthropy for many years now,” says Wallis Annenberg, Annenberg Foundation Chairman, President and CEO. “That’s why this special honor is so meaningful to me. No one works harder for all of God’s creatures than the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and the Zoo itself, a beacon of animal welfare and conservation for 50 years now. I’m proud to stand with them, and excited to be a part of this year’s Beastly Ball.”
The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. The Society supports educators to ensure that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. The Society also aspires to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. Its goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.
“I am extremely honored to accept the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award on behalf of the National Geographic Society, the first organization to receive this recognition,” says Gary E. Knell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Geographic Society. “Like Tom, the Society is committed to protecting wildlife and wild places and educating the next generation to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for the planet we all share.”
The National Geographic Society is the seventh recipient of the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award, following actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. (2016), singer/philanthropist Lance Bass (2015), entertainment industry attorney Ken Ziffren (2014), actresses Pauley Perrette (2013) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (2012) and rock icon Slash, a GLAZA Trustee (2011). The award was established in memory of former GLAZA Chairman Tom Mankiewicz, a beloved and highly regarded film and television writer and director. Mankiewicz, who passed away in 2010, was associated with such films as Superman, Diamonds Are Forever and Live and Let Die, and the Hart to Hart television series, among many others. He championed the cause of saving and protecting wildlife and the environment through education and on-the-ground conservation. He also promoted the Zoo’s universal appeal and its accessibility as a gathering place for all in Los Angeles’ diverse communities.
Among the iconic restaurants donating their services for dinner are Antonio’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Celestino Ristorante, El Cholo – Los Angeles, Delicious Arts, El Coyote Mexican Café, The Federal Bar, Frida Restaurant Americana, Hard Rock Café, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Little Sister, Malbec Argentinian Cuisine, Red O, Salt’s Cure, Simmzy’s, Sparkling Treatz, Taix French Restaurant, Tart Bites Bakery, Taste Of The Wild Catering at the Los Angeles Zoo, and Yummy Cupcakes.
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens marks its 50th anniversary with a yearlong “ZooLAbration” of its November 28, 1966, opening that spotlights not only its key role as a world-class destination and an important community asset but also its critical successes in conservation, quality of life and premier care for animals. Having recently completed a $172 million master plan which significantly improved the Zoo facility, the 50th anniversary coincides with the early planning stages of a new Master Plan for the future. The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. Its many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats.
The Zoo’s lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter and face-to-face Giraffe Feedings; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and Muriel’s Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.
Beastly Ball tickets are $1,500 per person, with individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities at higher levels also available. The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Free parking is available. For Beastly Ball tickets and additional information, call (323) 644-4753. www.lazoo.org/beastlyball