By Liz Hezlep
The summerevening was perfect for GLAZA’s 40th Annual Beastly Ball held Saturday June19th at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens to honor entertainment iconBetty White, a longtime GLAZA supporter and Trustee. The event raised$1,191,461 for the Zoo.
White wasnamed Ambassador to the Animals of the City of Los Angeles by Mayor Villaraigosa in 2006 forher dedication to the care of, and loving concern for, all animals. She readilyadmits, ”I love this zoo with all my heart…I’ve been a zoo lover all mylife.”
In a March2010 interview she discussed “her 46 year partnership with the Los Angeles Zoo,calling it one of her two loves in life, alongside show business.”
Accordingto Glaza president Connie Morgan of La Canada,“Betty White is synonymous with the Los Angeles Zoo…and honoring her is our great joy.”
Zoo directorJohn Lewis agreed,”Betty is truly one of the greatest fans of the LA Zoo… sheknows our animals and staff on a first name basis and when she’s not ontelevision or in a movie you can usually find her here at the zoo.”
NC/S starPauley Perrette served as emcee for the evening’s program which included videotributes to White by Jay Leno, Alex Trebek, Jane Goodall, Craig Ferguson aswell as in- person honors from City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; USCongressman Brad Sherman and City of Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge. White’s Award waspresented to her by GLAZA president Morgan, GLAZA chairman Tom Mankiewicz andLewis.
Attired incasual or safari garb, over 1,000 guests strolled through the zoo, viewing itsinhabitants in the Australia,Great Ape, and Aquatic areas. Animal feedings and ”animal walk-abouts” werefeatured including chats with keepers strolling among the crowd handling, amongothers, a boa constrictor, a turtle, a slithery brown snake and owls, abeautiful turquoise and yellow macaw. A marimba band kept things lively and acolorful giant “butterfly “ on stilts kept young people amused. While feastingon tasty fare, provided by some of L A and Pasadena’s most popular restaurants,attendees were able to view and bid on conveniently located silent auctionitems.
At theappointed time, following the close of the silent auction, guests were summonedto the plaza area where they were given the red carpet treatment as theyentered. Attendees were encouraged to continue their feasting before beingseated for the program.
Followingthe presentations and tributes to Betty White a live auction was held,conducted by popular weatherman Fritz Coleman and Jimmy Pardo, Among the mostpopular items were a pre-opening tour of the Zoo’s new Pachyderm Forest withBetty White; a visit with Zenyatta one of horseracing’s all time greats atHollywood Park race track with her owners and racing manager; and the LA Zoo’sVets package -a behind-the-scenes experience at the zoo’s Gottlieb Animal Healthand Conservation Center. Dancing and desserts concluded the evening’sactivities.
Participatingrestaurants included Bar Celonoa, Cafe 140 South, Celestino Ristorante,Clancy’s Crab Broiler, El Cholo restaurant-LA, Fabiolus Café, Green StreetRestaurant, Il Fornaio Cucina Italiana, La Poubelle Bistro and Bar, IxtapaCantina, Maison Akira, Malo Cantina, Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, Villa Sorriso, andYamashiro.
Otherdignitaries in attendance were Los Angeles PD Chief Beck, Councilwoman JaniceHahn and James Hahn.
Attendingfrom our area were Tom and Lisa Evans, Colleen and Ty Evans, Kimberly andRobert Shepherd, Jane and Kris Popovich, Jeanne and John Matthiesen, Mary andBill Urquhart.
(No Ratings Yet)