Houston Charity Guide
party watch

Houston society birds of a feather flock together at soaring zoo bash

Houston society birds of a feather flock together at soaring zoo bash

Zoo Ball 2019
Jacki Levett-Prinsep and Sam Cole. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Greg and Maggie Sheridan meet a Harris hawk and zookeeper. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Stacey Vaglienty and Ashley Chruszczak. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Myrtle Jones and Candice Penelton with Denver, a blue and gold macaw. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Jesse and Megan Ortega. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Doug and Winell Herron. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Sue Chin and Kelley Lubanko.  Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Ron and Julie Finck, Cathy and Joe Cleary, and Beverly and Jim Postl. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Faye and Joel Pederson. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Andrea Alexander and Phillip Williams.  Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Jeff and Amy Miers. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Courtney and Bas Solevald. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Guests mingle with wildlife.  Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019
Zoo Ball 2019

What: Zoo Ball: Flights of Fancy

Where: Houston Zoo 

The scoop: More than 400 Houstonians flocked to Houston Zoo for Zoo Ball: Flights of Fancy, presented by Phillips 66, the annual gala which raises vital funds for the Houston Zoo. The black-tie event celebrated the "wondrous" world of birds and raised nearly $800,000 to support the zoo. This year’s event, hosted by chairs Demi and Ron Rand, was themed to highlight the zoo’sefforts to care for and protect birds around the world.

The party-goers turned up the volume on gowns and glamour, and the zoo transformed its tented event space, Masihara Pavilion, into a colorful ballroom. City Kitchen served a multi-course dinner beginning with a spring medley panzanella, followed by savory prime aged filet of beef in pinot noir wine reduction over saffron orzo pilaf with sweet peppers and broccolini, and macerated peaches with blueberry sorbet, candied orange rind and almond cookie for dessert.

Lee Ehmke, zoo president and CEO, shared the zoo’s plan for a new Avian Conservation Center opening in 2021. The center will enhance the zoo’s efforts to breed endangered birds like the Colombia’s blue-billed curassow. This plan will also revitalize the zoo’s bird garden to better showcase the many birds in beautiful new aviaries.

Guests bid on silent auction items during cocktail hour with the highest bid going for a Tenenbaum Jewelers bangle bracelet for $5,000. After dinner, a spirited live auction called by auctioneer Mark Thomas, highlighted three very competitive items. Week-long stays in private homes in Big Sky, Montana, and Cabo San Lucas went for $10,000 and $12,000, respectively. Beverly and Jim Postl won the chance to name the three alligators that will live in the new Texas Wetlands exhibit for $13,000.

This year, Flock members Sam Cole and Jacki Levett-Prinsep hosted the Zoo Ball After Party. Audio House kept revelers dancing until midnight.

Who: Demi and Ron Rand (Zoo Ball chairs), Kelley LubankoKelli and John Weinzierl, Sam Cole and Jacki Levett-Prinsep, Amber Akers, Lee Ehmke (Houston Zoo president and CEO) and Sue Chin; Beverly and Jim Postl, Bob Edwards, Cathy and Joe Cleary, Peggy Kostial, and Macey Reasoner Stokes and Bob Stokes.