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Beastly Ball 2024 Highlights

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A Wildly Successful Event

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s 2024 Beastly Ball fundraising gala, held on Saturday, June 1, raised an impressive $1.25 million, including more than $60,000 for direct conservation and community empowerment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Many thanks to everyone who attended the Ball, donated, and participated in the silent auction, as well as to the committee members, staff, and volunteers who helped make the fundraiser such a success.  “We’d also like to extend our deepest gratitude to actor, comedian, television host, and five-time Ball emcee Joel McHale,” said GLAZA Interim President Dawn Petersen-Amend, “and Beastly Ball 2024 honorees and cherished philanthropic partners with a combined 55 years of support for GLAZA and the Zoo’s shared mission–GLAZA trustee Esther S. M. Chui-Chao and the Angela Collier Foundation, represented by President Mohammad Virani.” Petersen-Amend continued, “It was a very special and meaningful night celebrating the L.A. Zoo’s achievements in animal care, conservation, education, and more while honoring those who help make them possible.”  

The evening’s moving program featured L.A. Zoo CEO and Zoo Director Denise Verret and GLAZA Interim President Dawn Petersen-Amend, who paid tribute to the late GLAZA trustee Patti Silver. A rousing Fund-a-Need paddle raise benefiting the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center in the DRC ended the program in a spectacular fashion. A valued conservation partner of the L.A. Zoo, GRACE’s mission is to care for rescued Grauer’s gorillas and work alongside Congolese communities to promote the conservation of wild gorillas and their habitat. Following an inspiring presentation by GRACE Community Education Manager Laurie Cummins, guests enthusiastically raised their paddles to donate to support GRACE’s Usala Wildlife Corridor initiative, knowing that each contribution would be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous anonymous donor. Those who donated were treated to copies of the award-winning children’s book Angela & Lulingu, which features the Zoo’s youngest gorilla and her counterpart at GRACE, signed by author Brenda Scott Royce

While the Beastly Ball is GLAZA’s biggest and most important fundraiser of the year, it’s just one of the many ways you can support the Zoo’s mission. Learn how you can make an impact by visiting our Donors page.

Restaurant & Beverage Partners

Many thanks to the following restaurants, caterers, and beverage partners for showcasing their fabulous food and drink for the enjoyment of all at the Ball. 

  • El Cholo The Original 
  • Epic Tacos Restaurant & Catering 
  • Granville
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
  • Momed
  • Not Just Chef Jess
  • Pink’s Hot Dogs
  • Rangoni Spirits
  • Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Company
  • Sup Wellness
  • Sushi by Howdy
  • Taste of the Wild Catering at the Los Angeles Zoo 
  • The Coffee Roaster
  • WhistlePig Whiskey Co.
  • Wine Boss, LLC
  • Yakumi

Beastly Ball 2024 Corporate Partners

California Credit Union logo
US Bank logo (2024)
KPMG logo

Beastly Ball 2024 Committee

  • Courtney Appell  
  • Shainaz Donnelly Burg  
  • Wendy Denham, M.D.   
  • Brian Diamond   
  • Robert J. Ellis 
  • Sam Enoch 
  • Brian Hodous  
  • Dawn Petersen-Amend, Interim GLAZA President 
  • Erika Aronson Stern 
  • Franco Terango 
  • Denise M. Verret, Los Angeles Zoo CEO and Zoo Director 
  • Jennifer Thornton Wieland   

Conservation Impact

The Beastly Ball has raised millions to support the L.A. Zoo’s local and global conservation and education efforts. 

In this era of rapid global species loss and disappearing habitats, the leadership role that the L.A. Zoo is taking to save species while inspiring the next generation of conservationists has never been more important. Your support of the Beastly Ball is key to ensuring the success of the mission. 


For 60 years, the nonprofit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) has funded exhibits, capital projects, field conservation efforts, education and community outreach programs, and more at the Los Angeles Zoo, an international leader in the preservation of wildlife and care of animals.

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