By Patricia Janeway

The Detroit Zoological Society’s annual Sunset at the Zoo fundraiser gala takes place on Friday, June 19, 2009, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The year’s wildest party features a strolling supper, zoo-themed martinis, live entertainment, dancing, and live and silent auctions. The 21-and-over event is held rain or shine, and the Zoo closes at 2 p.m. that day in preparation for the festivities.

Over 2,000 Zoo supporters are expected to attend the event, themed “Celebrating Our New Arrivals”. A strolling supper offers tastes of signature dishes from 40 of the area’s finest restaurants, Skyline & the Backstreet Horns entertain throughout the evening, and guests have access to the Zoo’s award-winning animal habitats as the sun goes down. Attire for the evening is “elegant safari chic”.

The live auction includes “zoo-nique” items such as a gourmet dinner for 12 with the giraffes, a polar bear and seal feeding experience for six, a behind-the-scenes tour of the rhino habitat for four and a fall twilight hayride at the Zoo with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for 12. Other exciting live auction items include a Top Gun fighter jet experience and a San Francisco and Sonoma winery excursion.

Tickets for Sunset at the Zoo range from $150 to $600 per person. A benefactor party will be held on Tuesday, May 19, at the Bloomfield Hills home of Bobbi and Stephen Polk for those purchasing $600 benefactor tickets. A VIP reception will be held at the Zoo’s Dinosauria experience on Friday, June 19, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., for those purchasing $600 benefactor tickets and $300 patron tickets. Tickets can be ordered by phone at (248) 541-5717 ext. 3750 or online at

Sunset at the Zoo is supported by Strategic Staffing Solutions, Caesars Windsor, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, Fox 2, Hour Detroit, WJR News Radio 760 and Dining in the Wild. Co-chairs for this year’s event are Beverly Bantom, Jill Miller, Jessica Pellegrino and Lois Shaevsky.

The Detroit Zoological Society is a non-profit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo. Situated on 125 acres of naturalistic exhibits, the Detroit Zoo is located at the intersection of Ten Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, just off I-696, in Royal Oak.

The Detroit Zoo is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October (open at 9 a.m. May 1 through Labor Day) – with extended hours until 8 p.m. Wednesdays during July and August – and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March. Admission is $11 for adults 15 to 61, $9 for senior citizens 62 and older, and $7 for children ages 2 to 14; children under 2 are free.
For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit

The Bell Isle Nature Zoo is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round and provides educational programming with interpretive staff support from the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Admission is free. For more information, call (313) 852-4056.


Brandon said...

The Detroit Zoo has really done a great job trying to figure out how to raise money in a challenging environment. Besides this cool Sunset with the Giraffes fundraiser, they are offering all kinds of "experiences." For example, penguin feeding, talks with butterflies, etc. Oh, and breakfast with those giraffes! Check it out here:

Monica said...

I agree with Brandon, I went by there this past weekend when they had the "adopt a pet" weekend, and I do not remember the last time I saw woodward so backed up to the zoo!! It was SO nice to see people out and about not only supporting the zoo animals but also adopting the pets that are overcrowding the Humane societies everywhere, and need/deserve good homes:)

I helped sponsor/attend this event in years past and its a great time for all WAY TO GO DETROIT:)

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