Lincoln Park ZooLA LA LA

Bridget Campbell, Denise Stefan Ginascol, Kevin Bell & Peggy White

Wildly entertaining and generous at heart…

The Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo has a knack for hosting exceptionally successful fundraisers, even when they’re held outside of the zoo. On Thursday, November 14, the women’s board hosted over 180 guests at The Casino in Streeterville featuring a live auction. Raising over $250,000, the event “ZooLa” broke past records.

Bridget Campbell, event co-chair, reflected on the enchanting evening, “We would like to thank our guests for their overwhelming enthusiasm and support. The funds raised contribute to maintaining this community treasure,” she says. Denise Stefan Ginascol, event co-chair, adds, “This type of support helps keep the zoo free and accessible to all.”

The event was made possible by the  support of the following underwriters: Abbott; Abby Zanarini and Don Funk; Henry Latimer and Donnie Fitzgarrald of Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group; BMO Harris Bank; and Denise and John Ginascol. Generous donors included Harry Winston, Inc.; United Airlines; Rancho La Puerta; Ralph Lauren Michigan Avenue; Mr. and Mrs. Mark R. Walter; DLA Piper LLP; and Sidley Austin LLP.

Seen on the scene: Dana and Ricky Abt; Elizabeth and John Cusack; Holly and Peter Geraci; John Ginascol; Diana Hall; Wendy Krimins; Alexandra and Donnie Fitzgarrald; Tina and Mike Leopardo; Roberta Olshansky; Myra and John Reilly; Terry Sullivan; Kimbra Walter; Lincoln Park Zoo Board of Trustees event Liaison, Elizabeth Mihas; Peggy White, Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo President; and Kevin Bell, Lincoln Park Zoo President and CEO.

ZooLA 2013 elevated this live auction into an elegant evening of aspiration to benefit the city’s beloved landmark, Lincoln Park Zoo. The ballroom sparkled with whimsical jewel tones as eager guests perused the catalogue of more than 20 auction items. An inviting selection of hors d’oeuvres and small plates were circulated, while custom classic cocktails were prepared by mixologist Revae Schneider. A lovely display of designer handbags filled with surprise experiences beckoned guests to enter a pre-auction raffle. Auctioneer and Board of Trustees member, John D. Fornengo, ignited a visual presentation of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences, luxury pieces, and unique offerings, as guests placed bids to pledge support to Lincoln Park Zoo.

The auction’s selection delivered the ‘wow’ factor and beyond. The premiere packages included a dazzling Harry Winston Midnight Collection Ladies’ Timepiece; a one-week stay at the number one Four Seasons ski resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two at Super Bowl XLVIII in February, 2014; a one-week stay for two at the number one spa, Rancho La Puerta; a pair of VIP seats to a taping of “Dancing with the Stars”; a behind-the-scenes tour of the morning team at WGN-TV; and the one-of-a-kind opportunity to name a special addition to the Lincoln Park Zoo family, the first-ever red kangaroo born at the zoo.

Proceeds from ZooLA will support the Women’s Board pledge to maintain Lincoln Park Zoo’s invaluable presence and worldwide leadership in conservation, education and animal care as well as supporting the construction of the Regenstein Macaque Forest, the first new animal habitat to be built at the zoo in over eight years.

Violet Dominek Photographs



About Cindy Burns

Currently writing for TCW's 'Woman About Town' column, Cindy Burns covers Chicago's social scene, events, fashion, and interviews women and men who are making a difference in the world. With an M.A. in American History from DePaul University, Ms. Burns is an author, freelance writer, avid reader and researcher. Ms. Burns has spent over 20 years serving on charitable boards and organizations, and currently serves as a member of the Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet and the Women's Auxiliary Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago. She is also an Honorary Member of the Children's Service Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. When Ms. Burns isn't running around Chicago covering current events, you can find her biking, on the tennis courts, or hiking in a mountainous region of her choice.