No animals were harmed in the production of this page – in fact, they're the ones who stand to benefit the most. The San Diego Zoo Global held its annual R*I*T*Z (Rendezvous in the Zoo) black-tie fundraiser on June 21, raising $1.4 million to benefit animals from the cliff areas of the zoo's Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit, including zebras, warthogs, baboons and ibex. About 80 volunteers helped throw a party that included a silent auction, music and several residential guests of honor. From left, La Jollans and gala chairs Mick and Lisette Farrell, noted zoo envoy Joan Embery and San Diego Zoo chairman Richard Gulley share the stage; Embery has a few words for a common vulture, in all his impatience; La Jolla residents and philanthropists Leo and Emma Zuckerman are all smiles; and two acrobats from Aerial Essentials are clearly dressed for the evening.
Since it began in 1984, R•I•T•Z has raised over $14 million for the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Beneficiaries at the Zoo include Sun Bear Forest, Gorilla Tropics, Elephant Odyssey, Ituri Forest and Pygmy Chimps at Bonobo Road.
Lena Evans is the founder and chief executive officer of Jade Phoenix, an award-winning organization providing event planning and event teams and promotion services to nonprofit organizations and businesses. See more at jadephoenixcorp.com.