If you read my newsletter yesterday, then you know I said I was running out the door to attend a media event and that I would fill you in on it today. The event was a media preview of the annual Beastly Ball. The Beastly Ball is the Los Angeles Zoo’s main fundraiser and it’s returning in person for the first time in two years.

It’s a clever idea as they bill it L.A.’s wild night of fundraising and this year, they’re honoring their former board member, the late, great, Betty White. Denise M. Verret, CEO & Zoo Director, Los Angeles Zoo said that “Betty’s deep love and passion for animals was infectious,” and that “she believed in the importance of zoos and our mission of species conservation and used her influence, humor, and generosity to make the world a better place for all living creatures.”  

As you would expect from a high-profile party in Los Angeles, there will be a slew of celebrities on hand, including Joel McHale, who will be emceeing. This will be Joel’s third year as host but his first time emceeing an in-person Ball. “The last two years, the event was virtual, so it was just me, the crew, the animals at the Zoo and a handful of kibble,” said McHale. “This year, I’m looking forward to experiencing this epic night with an audience and a couple alpacas. I’m also honored to introduce the Betty White tribute, which will be a touching remembrance of her dedication to animals and the L.A. Zoo.”

RELATED: 10 Tips For Your Trip to the Los Angeles Zoo

The Beastly Ball is on Saturday, June 4 and tickets are $1,500 per person. Guests will be treated to after-hours access to the Zoo, where they will enjoy sumptuous dishes, sweet treats, and libations provided by Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Hotville Chicken, La Casita Mexicana, The Federal Bar, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Yakumi, Momed, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, In Good Taste Wines, Paquera Mezcal, and more.

As guests stroll the zoo grounds, they will be delighted by special animal feedings, keeper talks, and roaming entertainment as the party makes its way to Treetops Terrace for more food, live entertainment, and a virtual graffiti wall where guests can “paint” the canvas. There will also be a mobile-bidding silent auction with more than 150 unique and one-of-a-kind items including travel, sports, entertainment, and animal adoption packages; artwork; jewelry, clothing, and signed items of Betty White; and much more.

At the preview event, they had food and drink samples from almost all of the vendors and I’ve gotta say, it was all marvelous. It was my first time eating a Pink’s hot dog in decades and I always thought they were overrated until yesterday. My turkey dog and bun were so soft and delicious that I finally understand why people wait an hour in line at their hotdog stand.

To learn more, visit www.lazoo.org/beastlyball. 

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