On Friday, September 14, 2018, the Birmingham Zoo hosted its largest fundraising event of the year, ZooGala 2018 – Indaba in Africa, sponsored by IBERIABANK, presenting sponsor for the past nine years. The affair was held in the Junior League of Birmingham – Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo following a VIP Pre-Party.
Net proceeds from ZooGala further the Birmingham Zoo’s mission of “Inspiring Passion to Conserve the Natural World” and to provide care for the Zoo’s animals, educational programs and conservation research. This year’s Indaba in Africa theme included stunning décor inspired by African safaris, markets, savannahs, rainforests and coastlines. Guests enjoyed African-inspired culinary offerings by Kathy G. & Company. Live entertainment was performed by Traditional West African Drummers and The Main Attraction band for guests’ dancing pleasure. Throughout the evening, special animal walkabouts and greetings by the Zoo’s Ambassador Animals delighted attendees.
Janice and Roddy McKinney served as Honorary Chairs, and ZooGala 2018 Chairs were Amanda Davis (Austin), Leigh Davis and Sumner Rives (John). The ZooGala Advisor was Britt Redden (Chuck) and Candice McKinney (Lee) was Chair of the VIP Pre-Party, where the Zoo raised funds to acquire an Ecodrum, an innovative composting device. Chris Pfefferkorn, Zoo President and CEO, and the Zoo staff thank all the ZooGala volunteer leadership, sponsors, donors and 500 enthusiastic guests for the highest grossing fundraiser in the Zoo’s history, raising more than $450,000.
Spotted at ZooGala: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Senator Doug Jones (Louise); Congressman Gary Palmer (Ann); Representative David Faulkner (Nancy); State Senator Linda Coleman-Madison; Councilor Valerie Abbott; Councilor Hunter Williams, and Jefferson County Manager, Tony Petelos.
ZooGala Committee Members: Lacey Alford (Farra); Jenna Bissell (Elmer); Kelley Caine (William); Kacy Carroll (Sam); Carmen Echols (Trey); Carey Martin Donaldson (Brent); Lisa Flake (Jared); Rebecca Morris (Ben); Lisa O’Neal (Craft); Kam Patton (Joe); Bonnie Pounds (Hamilton); Emily Ruzic; Elizabeth Steiner (John); Hampton Stephens (Bart); Amanda Welden (Joseph); Caroline (Byron); and Whitney Wright.
Zoo Board Members: Board President Wally Nall III; Kelvin Datcher; Nancy Goedecke (Glenn); Gaynell Hendricks (Elias); Joshua Jones (Akiko); Randy Jordan (Lauri); Philippe Lathrop (Judy Crittenden); and David Loper (Tom Barnett).
Junior Board Members: Junior Board President Tim Hennessy, Jr. (Melanie); Rosemary Alexander (Tripp); Frank Anderson (Mary Bradley); Tony Crocker (Jordan); Krystal Drummond (Chris Williams); Joey DuMontier (Carla); Joe Gribbin (Ann Blair); and Amanda Hawkins (Todd Benfield).
Also attending were: Chris Abele, Wendell and Krissie Allen, Dr. Paul and Gwendolyn Amamoo, Jimmy and Jennifer Ard, Nina Barnes, Matthew Broderson and Lindsay McDonald, Leslie Brooks, Tucker and Kitty Brown, Jeremiah Burns, Phil and Karen Carroll, John and Bronwyne Chapman, Zack and Maria Cloud, Kevin and Leigh Collins, Ann Comer, Cameron and Kristie Connor, Houston and Sheri Cook, Larry Cooper, Robert Dabal, Jesse Daniel, Eddie and Vicki Denaburg, Monica Drake, David Driscoll, Nate Ennis, Ron and Beth Flowers, Jonathan Handey, Beau and Mardi Jarrett, Derek Johnson, Angela King, Greg and Kendall King, John and Lindsey Lacey, Melva Langford, John Lyda, Dr. Julian Maha and Dr. Michele Kong, Jeff and Ann Majcher, Kristin Martin, Dr. Stephanie and Tommy McCain, Danny and Amy McKinney, Thomas Nelson, Alison Oliphant, Billy Petelos, Larry Pirkle, Wilmer Poynor, Henry and Carolyn Ray, Chuck Thomas, Jake and Madeleine Reiss, Kelly Rushin, Stephanie and Josh Slade, Brandon Smith, Roger Torbert and Randall Fields, Katherine Van Liew, Claire and Wesley Vaughn, Jennie and Allen Whitman, Lynn Wilmoth, Larry and Phyllis Wojciechowski, Leslie and Corinne Wood, and retired Zoo CEO Dr. William Foster.