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Real Party Animals at The Beastly Ball

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The LA Zoo's annual Beastly Ball is known to be one of the hottest tickets in town. The benefit held this year on Saturday, June 20th raised $1,226,000 for the zoo. This year, the 39th Beastly Ball, honored philanthropist and GLAZA Trustee Laura Z. Wasserman.

Guests were encouraged to dress in "safari casual" attire and were gifted with handmade tote bags crafted by artisans in a co-op for widows of genocide in Rwanda. Vans carried attendees to the top of the hill near the black bears, where the twilight event started. Betty White, a GLAZA Trustee, was among those on hand to greet arrivals, along with an array of passed hors d'ouvres. A meandering path led guests past various exhibits, live bands, bars, and buffet tables. Zoo staff were also roaming the event on "animal walkabouts" with furry, feathered and scaly zoo inhabitants.

There was an enormous silent auction and additional buffet tables at the end of the trail. Memorable dishes from the event were the Pear and Brie Crositini from La Poubelle, homemade sausages from Villa Soriso, Ceviche on a Plantain Chip from Smith Brothers Restaurants and the Mashed Potato Bar from Rennaisance Fine Catering.

The evening culminated with an award presentation to Laura Wasserman and a live auction with celebrity auctioneer Fritz Coleman for exciting events including a tour of the zoo with Betty White ($8,500), a reptile tour with Slash of Guns N' Roses ($5,000), and being drawn onto the cartoon "Family Guy" ($4,000). A live band playing 70s boogie drew a crowd out onto the dance floor as others perused the dessert table until only the nocturnal zoo inhabitants partied on.