What: Houston Zoo's "Feed Your Wildlife Conservation Gala."
Where: In a white party tent on Zoo grounds.
The 411: It was all about saving lions on this evening that raised a whopping $872,000 for conservation efforts around the world including international African lion conservation alliance Pride. Six members of the organization spoke to the generous gathering of 425 on their efforts in Africa.
Many in the crowd, as is Zoo supporters wont, dressed in animal prints and safari-inspired attire, adding a note of whimsy to the very serious effort. Estimates are that there are only 30,000 lions remaining in Africa, half the number of 20 years ago.
Interestingly, a good chunk of the change raised — more than $191,000 — came from the live auction and pledge drive. Most popular item in the silent auction was the sea turtle research and rehabilitation tour in Galveston with Houston Zoo sea turtle expert and head veterinarian, Dr. Joe Flanagan. The silent auction alone raised $42,000. Tops in the live auction was a jaunt to Italy that went for $13, 500.
Who: Emcee Andy Cerota of KPRC Channel 2, the evening's honoree Cullen Geiselman, Houston Zoo board chair Suzanne Nimocks, Deborah and Gardner Cannon, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Anne and Charles Duncan, Alie and David Pruner, Annie and Bob Graham and Sybil Roos.