ZooFari, Back From the Brink

Phoenix Zoo hosts an Evening of Conservation and Cuisine

text by Linda Hardwick

photos courtesy of Phoenix Zoo

Above: Attendees enter ZooFari under a Prehistoric fossil-themed canopy.

On October 14, more than 600 Valley philanthropists, leaders and supporters of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo gathered for an unforgettable evening at Rendez-Zoo, An Evening of Conservation and Cuisine. Yvonne and Steve Betts chaired the annual fundraiser, with Marlene and Grant Woods serving as honorary chairs.

Guests journeyed through Jurassic-sized fun and entertainment at this year’s ZooFari, Back From the Brink. The event theme connected with the current Dinosaurs in the Desert exhibition, which runs through April 30.

Top, left; Steve and Yvonne Betts with Janice and Bert Castro. Top, right; Zookeeper Kim Richards holding a Hyacinth Macaw. Bottom, left: ZooFari VIP attendees enjoy a gourmet dinner. Bottom, right; Harry and Rose Papp.

As attendees arrived, they were greeted by life-like dinosaurs. Several “residents” and their keepers were on hand, allowing guests to get up-close-and-personal.

The ZooFari VIP guests enjoyed a seated dinner beautifully catered by Lancer Hospitality and had exclusive access to particular auction items.

ZooFari Party guests arrived a bit later to enjoy an array of delicacies and beverages from more than 30 of the Valley’s best knows restaurants and caterers. The partygoers also had an opportunity to bid on an array of unique and exquisite auction items.

Top, left: Artist Fred Krakowiak fashions paintings of the “residents.” Top, right; Creations in Cuisine Catering offers signature delicacies. Bottom; ZooFari Party attendees.

All party attendees came together to dance under the stars to the sounds of Boogie Knights amid the beautiful atmosphere of the Phoenix Zoo.

Funds from the event benefit Phoenix Zoo’s conservation initiatives, excellence in educational programs and mission. For more information, visit www.phoenixzoo.org