What: The Houston Zoo's Wildlife Conservation Gala
Where: The Houston Zoo
The scoop: More than 500 guests guests packed the Houston Zoo's Masihara Pavilion for the 12th annual Wildlife Conservation Gala. This year's gala was dedicated to raising funds for the wetland jewel of South America, the Pantanal, and the event collectively raised nearly $715,000.
KPRC anchor and reporter Andy Cerota emceed and spoke of his own connection to the zoo through last week’s journey to the Pantanal where he got up-close to the Houston Zoo’s efforts to save giant armadillos in the wild. Houston Zoo conservation partner Dr. Arnaud Desbiez, of the Giant Armadillo Conservation Project, was the evening’s speaker.
Desbiez regaled the crowd with tales from the field in Brazil and spoke passionately about the work the Houston Zoo is doing to save South American species like the giant armadillo and giant anteater.
Attendees dressed in their colorful attire and dined on a meal with a Brazilian flair. A salada de palmito was followed by a main course of prime-aged, grilled beef tenderloin medallions with chimichurri corn and smoked chili flan asparagus tapioca. Dessert included a chocolate torte with passion fruit meringue, macerated mangoes, and Brazil nut alfajore.
Some of the evening's most in-demand items included an eight-day summer escape to Telluride, Colorado; dinner for 20 at the Nau Family Gorilla Treehouse with feeding experience; and the opportunity to name a wild giant armadillo.
Who: Lee Ehmke and Sue Chin, Ginger Blanton and Renee Renfroe, Christina Lyons, Jason Salas and Lacey Dalcour Salas, Dr. Cullen Geiselman, Bas and Courtney Solleveld, Myrtle Jones, Joe Cleary, David and Nancy Pustka, Ron and Demi Rand, Zac and Courtney Harmon.