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Zoo Update with GLAZA Interim President Dawn Petersen-Amend

Rows of plush zoo animals stand ready for purchase at the Zoo gift shop.
The spotted thick-knee is a ground-nesting bird native to sub-Saharan Africa. This chick hatched this spring. Photo by Jamie Pham.

GLAZA celebrated National Volunteer Week the last week of April, recognizing our amazing volunteers and their many contributions to the L.A. Zoo. Last year, among their many other contributions, GLAZA’s 182 Docents contributed 38,739 hours of their time and talents touring more than 3,000 students and 1,200 members. With the additional 491 volunteers in other categories, including City volunteers, community service, general, research, and specialist volunteers, the total service hours donated at the Zoo were 61,300. The next time you visit the Zoo and see a volunteer, please offer them a heartfelt “thank you” for their valuable service and their positive impact on visitors’ Zoo experiences.

Looking ahead, we hope you will join us for our annual Beastly Ball the evening of June 1. It’s the Zoo’s largest fundraiser and the “wildest” party in Los Angeles! This fun event will feature special animal experiences, dazzling entertainment, culinary delights from many L.A. restaurants, and an incredible silent auction.

This year we are thrilled to honor GLAZA trustee Esther S. M. Chui-Chao for her many contributions to the Los Angeles Zoo. Esther is a leading philanthropist in the Los Angeles community who currently serves on the boards of two of our regional sister institutions, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Natural History Museum.

We are also excited to honor the Angela Collier Foundation, represented by its president, Mohammad Virani. The Angela Collier Foundation has made significant and meaningful impacts at the Los Angeles Zoo through its generous support of the Campo Gorilla Reserve, the Angela Collier World of Birds Theater, and other initiatives.

The evening’s program will feature actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale. Mr. McHale will emcee the fund-a-need paddle raise to support the Zoo’s Conservation Grant program, with proceeds going to the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Zoo Director and CEO Denise Verret serves on the GRACE board of directors. GLAZA has secured a matching gift that will inspire donors and ensure the success of this initiative.

We hope you will join us and make it a night to remember! If you’re unable to participate in person, please consider browsing the wild and exciting items and experiences available at this year’s silent auction. Pre-register now to view the offerings, receive updates, and to bid on your favorites. Or make a much-appreciated tax-deductible donation to the Ball.

Dawn Petersen-Amend is the Interim President of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association
Dawn Petersen-Amend, Interim President of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association