The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s (GLAZA) Beastly Ball gala and silent auction raised more than $1.4 million at Saturday evening’s event held at the Los Angeles Zoo. More than 700 guests strolled the Zoo grounds enjoying tasty dishes, sweet treats, and libations provided by some of Los Angeles’ most iconic establishments. Entertainment, animal encounters, and animal keeper talks engaged and informed guests, as they learned about the Zoo’s conservation efforts and animals that call the Los Angeles Zoo home.

Beastly ball 2022

The evening began with a White Carpet Reception where friends, celebrities, and Betty White’s fellow GLAZA trustees walked the white carpet in her honor. Actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale brought his brilliant wit to the evening’s program, delivering many big laughs—and some tears—as the event’s emcee where the legendary Betty White was honored with a moving tribute video. This year’s Beastly Ball honored B. Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers who co-authored two groundbreaking books, Zoobiquity and Wildhood. These bestsellers explore the interconnection among the planet’s species, highlighting the inextricable link between animal and human health and adolescent development. The inaugural Betty White Conservation Hero Award recipient, Stephen Badger, was recognized for his leadership in corporate sustainability. As a fourth-generation Mars family member, he initiated Mars, Incorporated environmental and social initiatives to combat sustainability challenges, placing the company at the forefront of global stewardship. The party culminated at Treetops Terrace with live music, dancing, a virtual graffiti wall, and rides on the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel.

Beastly ball attendees

“Returning in person for the 2022 Beastly Ball was exhilarating, and it was great to see so many sponsors, friends, and animal lovers come out in support of GLAZA and the Zoo’s mission,” states Tom Jacobson, GLAZA president. “This year’s honorees are truly exceptional. Their contributions to the fields of science, animal and human health, and environmental responsibility will have profound and lasting effects for generations,” Jacobson goes on to say.

The silent auction, with more than 150 unique and one-of-a-kind items including travel, sports, entertainment, art, and more, brought in $210,000, more than any other previous Beastly Ball auction. Some of the highest-grossing items were an Ultimate Softball Game Experience at Dodger Stadium for $12,000, Los Angeles Lakers Suite for $10,000, a Goodyear Blimp Ride for $9,000, and GLAZA trustee and famed guitarist Slash’s signed guitar for $5,000. Auction items donated by the estate of Betty White—including personal jewelry, clothing, and signed memorabilia—generated tremendous excitement among fans and brought in close to $23,000.

Beastly ball 2022 tribute to Betty White

“It was truly an unforgettable  moment at the L.A. Zoo for the first in-person Beastly Ball since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Denise M. Verret, CEO & Zoo Director, Los Angeles Zoo. “I am thrilled that so many people came out to see our beautiful Zoo, enjoyed an electric atmosphere, and reflected on the legacy of our dear friend, Betty White, who championed the Los Angeles Zoo and our vital work in conservation during her lifetime. This momentous show of support to GLAZA continues to help their mission of supporting the L.A. Zoo, and for that, I am eternally grateful.”

The Beastly Ball raises funds that are critical to the fulfillment of GLAZA’s mission, which is to provide ongoing support of the Zoo’s work in wildlife conservation both locally and abroad, public education programs, and the latest advancement in animal care and veterinary medicine.