CHICAGO- On Thursday, November 12, 2015, the Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo gathered over 125 guests for a special philanthropic experience at ZooLA 2015, an exciting live auction. As the gift of two swans from New York City’s Central Park sparked the origination of Lincoln Park Zoo, the swan motifs around the private club offered the perfect setting where more than $225,000 was raised. The event was made possible in part by the generous support of this year’s sponsors and partners: Lathrop & Gage LLP, JETSET World Travel, Inc., Pomellato, and Michigan Avenue magazine.
The evening, which consisted of a cocktail reception, a pre-auction raffle, a paddle raise, and a live auction, attracted a mix of prominent business, social and civic leaders in support of the city’s cherished landmark. The co-chairs for the evening were Shawn Sandor and Vasiliki Weiden. Notable attendees included: John Fornengo, auctioneer for the evening; Kim Theiss, Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo President; John Ettelson, Chairman of the Board of Lincoln Park Zoo; Kevin Bell, Lincoln Park Zoo President and CEO; Susan Flynn; and Kimbra Walter.
The distinctive qualities of ZooLA 2015 emerged through exceptional packages and unique experiences available for bidding. A delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres and small plates were circulated while enthusiastic guests perused the catalog of more than 20 auction items. Elements that contributed to the success of the evening included the raffle prize, which was a stunning pair of Pomellato earrings from the Nudo Collection, and the surprise announcement of an anonymous donor matching the paddle raise at the $1,000 level.
Vasiliki Weiden, event co-chair, looked back on the successful evening: “On behalf of my fellow co-chair and the Women’s Board, we are overwhelmed by the amount of support we received for this year’s auction.” Shawn Sandor, event co-chair, added, “It is events like ZooLA 2015 that help to keep this Chicago treasure free and accessible to all.”