News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
March 26, 2018
Chicago Zoological Society to Host Annual Whirl Gala at Brookfield Zoo
Proceeds to support award-winning conservation, education and animal welfare programs
Brookfield, Ill. — The Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) Women's Board and Board of Trustees will host its 37th annual black-tie gala on Saturday, April 28, at Brookfield Zoo. The organization’s largest fundraiser of the year typically attracts more than 700 corporate, civic, and philanthropic leaders from throughout the Chicagoland area. This year’s event is titled “Whirl of Fortune.” Proceeds from the gala will support the animals at Brookfield Zoo, as well as the Chicago Zoological Society’s innovative and award-winning conservation, education, and outreach programs.

The gala will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., during which nearly 20 of Brookfield Zoo’s animal ambassadors and their care staff will mingle with guests, offering the chance for unique up-close experiences and photo opportunities. A three-course dinner catered by Food for Thought and live music from one of Chicago’s most popular bands, Maggie Speaks, will follow. After dinner, casino-style entertainment and gaming will be open from 9 p.m. until midnight. Additionally, Aston Martin of Glenview is partnering with CZS on the event and will have an Aston Martin for guests to view.

A variety of items will be a part of the night’s raffle, including an in-home dinner and wine for 12 people catered by Food for Thought, an in-home wine tasting for 14-20 people, two VIP tickets to Brookfield Zoo’s Wines in the Wild event, and a day at the zoo with lunch for five people. A live auction will feature a trip to St. Lucia, the naming of Brookfield Zoo’s red male panda, and a Palmiero colored “pansy” pendant with 2.06 carats of diamonds and 4.23 carats of pink, blue, and yellow sapphires set in 18 karat white gold courtesy of A. Marek Fine Jewelry.

Individual reservations cost $700 per person. Tables of 10 and various sponsorship levels are also available. Seating for this event is limited, and the event usually sells out. For tickets or further information, call (312) 553-2000 or visit

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. The board has supported Brookfield Zoo since 1992, and its membership of approximately 70 women represents the entire Chicago area. Sasha L. Gerritson serves as the Women’s Board President and Elisa Templeton is the Whirl Chair.
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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