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Zoofari's "Monkey Magic" Brings Two Legged Animals
Out to Celebrate 22nd Year of Successful Fundraiser
Annual Fundraiser is Presented by Friends of Santa Ana Zoo

The Friends of Santa Ana Zoo (FOSAZ), a non-profit organization, hosted the 22nd annual Zoofari fundraising black-tie gala on August 23, 2014 for over 300 guests with a theme entitled "Monkey Magic." Zoofari takes place at one of the most inspiring venues in Orange County, the Santa Ana Zoo.

Valet parking service was underwritten by Peggy Baldwin Butler of Tudor House Productions, a first-class dining experience catered by Parties by Panache and a hosted bar including a special "50 Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" cocktail. Decorations were provided by R.W.B. Party Rentals creating a whimsical magical theme throughout the grounds of the Zoo.

Guests began the night being greeted by various animals and their docent "handlers." An armadillo, rooster, goat and a millipede were just some of the animals that welcomed everyone as they entered the Santa Ana Zoo. Guests were also privy to a sneak peak of the Ocelot Exhibit and Education Center. Darning "spotted hard hats" guests were able to see the progress of this exhibit which should be completed March 2015.

SoCal PBS Anchor Ed Arnold was the emcee for the evening with Glen Fladeboe as auctioneer for the live auction, assisted by FOSAZ Board Member Debbie Newmeyer.

Special honorees this year include Knowlwood owners Thanh Nguyen, PhD, Ginger Nguyen and Tana Everhart and Ginna Nguyen, along with the Zoo’s vet and renowned animal specialist Scott Weldy, DVM. In 2010 the Nguyen family implemented the Knowlwood Cafe at the Zoo, which aims to enhance Zoo visitors' experience with tasty and healthy fresh food at reasonable prices, for full enjoyment of a trip to the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park. Weldy has been volunteering at the Santa Zoo since the mid 1980's eventually becoming the back-up veterinarian for the Santa Ana Zoo in 1998 and the Veterinarian of Record for the Zoo in 2002.

The event netted over $80,000 and this year they raised over $34,000 just in the silent auction area alone which is an all-time record for the event. The live auction netted over $20,000 which also includes $10,000 raised for a special Digital X-ray Machine. Some of the live auction items up for grabs were a GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition with a Phantom 2 Quadcopter; a one week stay at Villa del Palmar Cabo San Lucas Beach Resort & Spa with airfare provided by Alaska Airlines; a Michael Kors tote stuffed with 100 California Scratchers and over $800 in cash; and a Palm Desert get-away including VIP Private Behind-the-Scenes Tour for four at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens with a giraffe encounter.

After the program, guests danced until midnight to the dynamic tunes of the "Groove Factory."

Zoofari is chaired by Cathi Decker and sponsored by FOSAZ, a non-profit organization which has helped support and improve the Zoo for over 32 years.

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