‘Monkey Business’ at heart of Lincoln Park Zoo Ball

The Event: The 37th annual Zoo Ball turned out to be as much fun as a barrel of monkeys when more than 850 guests descended on the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago on July 11 for the annual black tie benefit.

The inspiration for “Monkey Business,” presented by Guggenheim Partners, LLC, were the beautiful Japanese snow monkeys, macaques, which will be welcomed to the Regenstein Macaque Forest exhibit this winter.

Open 365 days, Lincoln Park Zoo is the only free, privately-funded zoo in the country, and one of only three free zoos in the nation. The annual Zoo Ball is sponsored by the Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo.

Cause célèbre: “We use our fundraising events to spread the word about the fact that the zoo has global reach; that it has conservation and education programs,” said Peggy White of Chicago, board president. “Our fundraising events raise money to support the zoo, some of the education programs and to keep (the zoo) free for all.”

Comprised of 135 members, the women’s board is considered a ‘working board,’ hosting fundraisers and being ambassadors for the zoo.

The Regenstein Macaque Forest will be the zoo’s first new animal exhibit in nine years. Event proceeds will also help to fund current additions planned to the zoo, including the new Lionel Train Adventure, an improved west entrance, and an expanded plaza surrounding Eadie Levy’s Landmark Café.

“The zoo is really a magnificent treasure that we have in downtown Chicago,” said John Ettelson of Glencoe, chairman of the board of trustees. “It is a terrific resource for the entire city.”

“By supporting the zoo we get to keep it free and open to the public,” said Mary Pearlman of Wilmette, co-chairman of the silent auction.

Bottom line: The event raised more than $1.2 million for the Lincoln Park Zoo.

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