News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
April 6, 2016

Chicago Zoological Society to Host Annual Whirl Fundraiser
Proceeds to Benefit Education, Conservation, and Outreach Programs

Brookfield, Ill.—A Whole New Whirl is the theme for the 35th annual Whirl fundraiser hosted by the Chicago Zoological Society’s Women's Board and Board of Trustees. The annual gala will take place at Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, April 30. This year’s co-chairs are Sarah Opler of Hinsdale and Heidi Huizenga of Oak Brook.

The black-tie event will begin with a cocktail reception, during which guests will have the unique opportunity to get up close experiences with a variety of incredible animals, including a two-toed sloth, tamandua (small anteater), Eurasian lynx, llama, African crested porcupine, wallaby, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, great-horned owl, and a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo. Animal care staff from Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will be bringing some amazing critters as well.

A three-course dinner catered by Jewell Events Catering and dancing to the music of Maggie Speaks will follow in the Grand Tent, which will be decorated in a brilliant African sunset color theme by Event Creative.

During the evening, guests will be able to support the Society’s programs by participating in a paddle raise, raffle, and live auction featuring fabulous items to bid on. Items include a St. Lucia getaway, a White Sox Suite package for 18 guests, and a mother of pearl and diamond necklace courtesy of A. Marek Fine Jewelry. The evening’s emcee will be ABC 7’s weekend morning news anchor Ben Bradley.

The cost is $700 per person. Tables for 10 are also available. For tickets or further information, call (312) 553-2000 or

Proceeds from this year’s Whirl will support the animals at Brookfield Zoo, as well as the Chicago Zoological Society’s conservation, education, and outreach programs.

The Women’s Board of the Chicago Zoological Society supports community outreach such as school sponsorships and provides financial assistance for animal care, conservation programs, and special projects. This Board has supported Brookfield Zoo since 1992, and its membership of approximately 70 women represents the entire Chicago area.


Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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