Zoo supporters to dine, dance at summer's 'wildest' event

May 23, 2014 - 4:14pm

Oregon Zoo Foundation's Zoolala benefit offers chance to sip, savor and support

Animal lovers and party animals can spend a wild evening under the stars July 19 — sipping complimentary wine and beer, savoring small plates from the region's best restaurants and supporting endangered species — as the Oregon Zoo Foundation hosts its 15th annual Zoolala benefit, presented by Spirit Mountain Casino with support from NW Natural and the region's top community-minded organizations and individuals.

"Zoolala is our all-time favorite event in Portland," supporters Mike and Tracey Clark said. "We've been coming since it started 15 years ago. We love being outdoors at the zoo in the evening, sampling yummy food, visiting with our friends and dancing under the stars — all in support of creating a better future for wildlife."

Proceeds from Zoolala support the zoo's advances in animal welfare, life-changing educational experiences and programs to protect endangered species worldwide.

Starting at 6 p.m., guests can graze their way through a "Savory Safari," tasting culinary delights from more than 20 of the area's top restaurants, sipping on complimentary wine and craft beer and experiencing up-close encounters with animals and their caretakers across zoo grounds. There will be live music at every turn, with performances by local bands Sam Bam Boo, Sneakin' Out and the Pete Krebs Trio featuring vocalist Jen Bernard.
By 7:30 p.m., all will have reached their "Decadent Destination" — converging at the zoo concert lawn for a video presentation, desserts and dancing the night away to Northwest party band Soul Vaccination.

A generous $10,000 matching gift challenge from RayEtte Oregon Investments, LLC, will double the impact of donations made during the event or through the event website. Zoolala guests can also purchase raffle tickets from event volunteers for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

Purchase tickets and tables here or by calling 503-220-5738. General admission is $150, and VIP tickets are $250 and provide guests early access beginning at 5 p.m. Creative cocktail attire is encouraged. Guests must be 21 or older with valid ID.

The zoo will close to regular visitors at 3 p.m. on July 19 to set up for Zoolala. Guests can remain on grounds until 4 p.m.