LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's annual “Beastly Ball'' fundraising gala, which was forced to go virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, raised nearly $1.1 million to support the zoo's animals and global conservation efforts, it was announced today.
Hosted by actor Joel McHale, the May 15 event featured celebrities and public officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.
Attendance during the livestream reached more than 12,000 -- 12 times the record attendance for the annual “in-person'' gala, according to GLAZA officials, who said thousands more tuned in to the replay, resulting in a total of 20,000 views from around the world.
Individual donations ranged from $5 to $72,000, and all 160-plus auction items were sold, according to GLAZA, which also reported that 175 “ADOPT an Animal'' packages were purchased.
In addition, the $90,000 “Fund-a-Need'' goal for a portable ultrasound machine was met, which will allow the zoo's veterinary team to upgrade to new equipment used for wellness and emergency exams.
“We are thrilled to have exceeded $1 million, which is beyond what we had hoped to achieve when we made the decision to take the Ball virtual,'' said GLAZA President Tom Jacobson. “We have reached a vastly broader audience and for that I am very proud. I'm also incredibly grateful to all the supporters who showed up to support us during this difficult time.''
The program can still be viewed at beastlyball.lazoo.org and donations will continue to be accepted in the coming weeks, he said.
The private, nonprofit GLAZA has funded exhibits, plant and animal species conservation, capital projects and education and community outreach programs at the Los Angeles Zoo for more than 50 years.
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