The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's (GLAZA) 44th Annual Beastly Ball, honoring animal advocate Heather Mycoskie and Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award recipient Ken Ziffren, is set for Saturday, June 14, 2014, 6 p.m., under the stars at the Los Angeles Zoo.
In keeping with the Zoo's role as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife, this year's Beastly Ball also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Beastly Ball guests, invited to dress in casual or safari attire, stroll through the Zoo after hours observing its inhabitants, watching animal feedings, chatting with keepers, viewing small animals up close, and enjoying entertainment, dancing, and dining on bountiful fare provided by some of L.A.'s most popular restaurants. Also featured are live and silent auctions comprised of hundreds of remarkable items and one-of-a-kind opportunities.
Comedian Jimmy Pardo oversees the program with his signature humor as MC and live auctioneer.
The Beastly Ball, known as "one of L.A.'s biggest and most popular fund-raisers" (FOX News) and "one of the best parties in Los Angeles" (KCBS/KCAL TV News), traditionally attracts nearly 1,000 attendees and raises more than $1 million annually for the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Heather Mycoskie, a passionate advocate for animals, owns TOMS Shoes with her husband, Blake Mycoskie. As the newly appointed TOMS Chief Animal Lover, she is being recognized for the new "TOMS Animal Initiative," which partners with animal-focused organizations to raise money and awareness for specific endangered species.
Ken Ziffren, veteran entertainment industry attorney and the Mayor of Los Angeles's Senior Advisor on television and film production, has been named the fourth recipient of the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award, which honors entertainment industry professionals in recognition of outstanding leadership in local or global wildlife and environmental conservation or for efforts to promote civic pride and harmony in our multi-cultural community.
Previous recipients are actresses Pauley Perrette (2013) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (2012) and rock icon Slash, a GLAZA Trustee (2011).
According to GLAZA President Connie Morgan, "We're very proud of our honorees' professional and personal accomplishments. As a champion for wildlife and conservation, Heather has introduced her passion to millions of TOMS fans, and her work beautifully matches the Zoo's mission to nurture wildlife and enrich the human experience."
Regarding Ziffren, Morgan adds, "Ken's abiding support of our community combined with his consensus building skills epitomize the Mankiewicz Leadership Award's spirit."
Ziffren's award was established in memory of former GLAZA Chairman Tom Mankiewicz, a beloved and highly regarded film and television writer and director. Mankiewicz, who passed away in 2010, was associated with such films as "Superman," "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Live and Let Die," and the "Hart to Hart" television series, among many others. He championed the cause of saving and protecting wildlife and the environment through education and on-the-ground conservation. He also promoted the Zoo's universal appeal and its accessibility as a gathering place for all in Los Angeles' diverse communities.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List was created to assess and monitor species at a global level and to highlight their risk of extinction, therefore promoting their conservation. The online database is considered an authority in ascertaining the threatened and endangered status of plant and animal species. IUCN will be represented at the Beastly Ball by Russell Mittermeier, Lifetime Honorary IUCN Member; Simon Stuart, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission; and GLAZA Trustee Richard Sneider, IUCN Global Chair, Freshwater Fish Specialist Group.
Among the iconic restaurants donating their services for dinner at the Beastly Ball are Canelé, Celestino Ristorante, El Cholo – Los Angeles, El Coyote Mexican Café, The Federal Bar, Georgetown Cupcakes LA, Glorious Gourmet Catering & Garnish Café, Hard Rock Café Hollywood, Il Fornaio Cucina Italiana, Jersey Mike’s – Pasadena and La Cañada, Maison Akira, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Sam’s By The Beach, Taix French Restaurant and Yummy Cupcakes.
The Beastly Ball is presented by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), founded in 1963. For five decades, GLAZA has funded plant and animal exhibits, species conservation, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. GLAZA also builds and invests endowment funds and operates six essential departments on behalf of the L.A. Zoo: development, marketing, publications, membership, volunteers, and oversight of the food and retail concessions. There are 65,000 member households in GLAZA representing more than 240,000 adults and children, the largest membership base of a cultural organization in Los Angeles. GLAZA additionally boasts a volunteer corps of more than 800 individuals.
The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, attracting 1.6 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 133 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Among its most popular habitats are the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), Elephants of Asia, Campo Gorilla Reserve and Rainforest of the Americas.
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.
Tickets to the Beastly Ball are $1,000 per person, with individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities at higher levels also available. For tickets and information, call (323) 644-4753. lazoo.org—Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association