Actor and Comedian Joel McHale Hosts Los Angeles’ Wildest Fundraiser with Proceeds Supporting the Los Angeles Zoo’s Vital Mission to Save Wildlife and to Serve the Community
THE LATE BETTY WHITE WILL BE HONORED WITH A WHITE CARPET RECEPTION, TRIBUTE, AND THE NAMING OF THE BETTY WHITE CONSERVATION HERO AWARD
The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s (GLAZA) Beastly Ball returns in person on Saturday, June 4 at the Los Angeles Zoo with actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale emceeing. This annual celebration brings together celebrities, tastemakers, business leaders, city officials, and Zoo patrons for a wild night of fundraising. Guests of the Beastly Ball will be treated to after-hours access to the Zoo, where they will enjoy sumptuous dishes, sweet treats, and libations provided by Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Hotville Chicken, La Casita Mexicana, The Federal Bar, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Yakumi, Momed, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, In Good Taste Wines, Paquera Mezcal, and more. As guests stroll the Zoo grounds, they will be delighted by special animal feedings, keeper talks, and roaming entertainment as the party makes its way to Treetops Terrace for more food, live entertainment, and a virtual graffiti wall where guests can “paint” the canvas. There will also be a mobile-bidding silent auction with more than 150 unique and one-of-a-kind items including travel, sports, entertainment, and animal adoption packages; artwork; jewelry, clothing, and signed items of Betty White; and much more. Beastly Ball tickets are $1,500 per person, with individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities at higher levels also available. To learn more, visit www.lazoo.org/beastlyball.
“After two years of being virtual, we are so excited to host this event in person, bringing together our loyal partners, sponsors, and friends to celebrate the Zoo’s conservation milestones and Ball honorees,” states GLAZA President Tom Jacobson. “This event is critical to the fulfillment of our mission, providing for GLAZA’s ongoing support of the Zoo’s work in wildlife conservation both locally and abroad, public education programs, and the latest advancement in animal care and veterinary medicine,” he goes on to say.
This legendary event will showcase the enormous impact the Zoo has on local and international conservation and will honor the work of B. Natterson-Horowitz, M.D., a cardiologist and evolutionary biologist, and Kathryn Bowers, an animal behaviorist and science writer, who co-authored the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health. As a follow up to Zoobiquity, the two studied thousands of wild species searching for evidence of human-like adolescence in other animals and documented their groundbreaking findings in Wildhood: The Astounding Connections Between Human and Animal Adolescents. Dr. Natterson-Horowitz has been a member of the L.A. Zoo Medical Advisory Board for over 20 years and credits the zoo’s veterinary staff with first awakening her to the power of a species-spanning approach to health.
This year, the Beastly Ball will honor Betty White’s legacy with a moving tribute in the evening’s program and the introduction of the Betty White Conservation Hero Award. White was deeply committed to the Los Angeles Zoo and its animals, serving for over 50 years as a GLAZA Trustee, and as the inaugural Chair of the Los Angeles Zoo commission in 2010. Conservation Heroes are chosen for their demonstrated passion for the planet and for their tireless work in several areas such as mitigating the loss of wildlife, helping to curb climate change, and practicing sustainability. The 2022 recipient is Stephen Badger, former 2x chairman of Mars, Incorporated and great-grandson of Mars’ founder, who was central to initiating and driving the company’s corporate social and environmental responsibility initiatives to combat climate change. Badger is also a founding investor in Seeds of Change, an organic seed and food company that, for every item sold, plants seeds through school growing programs throughout the U.S, “helping put more plants on plates every day,” according to its mission.
“Betty’s deep love and passion for animals was infectious,” said Denise M. Verret, CEO & Zoo Director, Los Angeles Zoo. “She believed in the importance of zoos and our mission of species conservation and used her influence, humor, and generosity to make the world a better place for all living creatures.”
Joel McHale returns for a third year as host, his first time emceeing an in-person Ball. “The last two years, the event was virtual, so it was just me, the crew, the animals at the Zoo and a handful of kibble,” says lifelong wildlife lover McHale. “This year, I’m looking forward to experiencing this epic night with an audience and a couple alpacas. I’m also honored to introduce the Betty White tribute, which will be a touching remembrance of her dedication to animals and the L.A. Zoo,” he goes on to say.
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 tickets, information about mobile bidding and additional information, visit www.lazoo.org/beastlyball or call 323-486-4253.