Beastly Ball 2024 graphic

Actor, Comedian, and Television Host Joel McHale Will Emcee Los Angeles’ Wildest Fundraiser with Proceeds Supporting the Los Angeles Zoo’s Vital Mission to Save Wildlife and to Serve the Community.

Los Angeles, CA (May, 8 2024)—The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) is thrilled to announce the return of its annual fundraising event, the Beastly Ball, on Saturday, June 1, 2024. Actor, comedian, and television host Joel McHale is back for the fifth time as emcee, lending his celebrity and signature humor in support of wildlife care and conservation. 

This party under the stars promises an unforgettable night of adventure and meaningful impact, as celebrities, tastemakers, business leaders, city officials, philanthropists, and zoo-lovers gather in support of the Los Angeles Zoo’s and GLAZA’s shared mission: saving wildlife, enriching our communities, and creating connections to nature. 

“Each year, this fundraising event serves as a way to honor the Zoo’s achievements in conservation and to acknowledge outstanding individuals and organizations dedicated to conservation and supporting the Zoo’s ongoing role as an educational destination,” said Dawn Petersen-Amend, Interim President of GLAZA. “This event is vital in furthering our mission, allowing GLAZA to sustain its support for the Zoo’s initiatives in wildlife conservation, community outreach programs, and advancements in animal care and veterinary medicine.” 

Guests of the Beastly Ball will enjoy an exceptional after-hours stroll through the Zoo, complete with special animal experiences, gourmet food and drinks, an exclusive silent auction, and captivating entertainment, with delightful surprises throughout the event. The evening will culminate with McHale leading a rousing paddle raise to inspire donations in support of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. GRACE is a conservation partner of the Los Angeles Zoo and the evening’s philanthropic focus whose mission is to provide excellent care for rescued Grauer’s gorillas and work alongside Congolese communities to promote the conservation of wild gorillas and their habitat. 

This year’s Ball will honor the Angela D. Collier Foundation, which focuses on funding animal welfare charities and developing park space for zoos, and its president, Mohammad Virani. The foundation has made significant contributions to the Los Angeles Zoo, including funding the Angela Collier World of Birds Theater, home of the spectacular World of Birds Show. In celebration of the birth of a female western lowland gorilla in 2020, the newest troop member was named “Angela” in honor of the late Angela Collier, a devoted animal advocate. Additionally, GLAZA Trustee Esther S. M. Chui-Chao will be honored for her passionate support of wildlife conservation and commitment to furthering GLAZA’s mission. Chui-Chao’s association with the Zoo dates back to 1984, yet her affection for wildlife originated in her early years on her grandfather’s farm near Hong Kong. This childhood passion translated into a lifelong devotion that has played a pivotal role in helping shape the direction of GLAZA’s initiatives, ensuring that its efforts are impactful and sustainable. 

“We thank Mohammad Virani and the Angela D. Collier Foundation for the contributions that have provided countless opportunities for the communities we serve to connect with wildlife and nature,” said Denise M Verret, Los Angeles Zoo CEO and Zoo Director. “Esther S. M. Chui-Chao’s support for the Zoo and her life-long commitment to wildlife continue to have a positive impact on Angelenos through the Zoo and its programs. On behalf of the entire Los Angeles Zoo family, we thank both honorees for their unwavering commitment to the Zoo and support of our mission.” 

Since the Ball’s inception in 1971, GLAZA has had a long history of successful fundraising for the Los Angeles Zoo. In 2022, the event raised more than $1.4 million, making it one of the top-grossing events in its history. The following year, in 2023, the Ball raised over $1.6 million, with McHale leading a lively paddle raise to help fund a scholarship program for under resourced schools, providing free admission and transportation to the Zoo. At the event, the scholarship program was renamed Betty White’s Zoo Pals in honor of the late actress, who served as a GLAZA trustee for more than 50 years. 

Beastly Ball tickets are $1,500 per person, with individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities at higher levels also available. The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Free parking is available. For tickets, information about mobile bidding, and additional information, visit Beastly Ball 2024 or call 323-486-4253. 

Corporate Partners supporting the Beastly Ball include California Credit Union and U.S. Bank.