SEEN: Do at the Zoo fete raises $597,000

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Joanne David­son Joanne David­son: 303-809-1314, par­ti­writer@hot­mail.com and @joanne­david­son on Twit­ter.

I’ve said it be­fore, and I’ll say it again: The Do at the Zoo can best be de­scribed as a party that’s more fun than a bar­rel of mon­keys.

Where else can 2,463 peo­ple gather to sam­ple top-shelf food and drink from 65 Denver-area restau­rants, brew­eries and dis­til­leries while rais­ing money to sup­port what in­terim pres­i­dent/ CEO Denny O’Mal­ley de­scribes as “ev­ery­thing we do at the zoo.”

Which is to care for and feed the 4,000 an­i­mals that re­side at the Denver Zoo and to pro­tect “wild an­i­mals and wild places” in the Rocky Moun­tain West and around the world.

Tr­ish and Ken Green, who have been mem­bers of the Denver Zoo­log­i­cal Foun­da­tion since mov­ing to the Denver area in 2005, chaired the 28th edi­tion of this event that raised $597,283, bring­ing the cu­mu­la­tive to­tal to some $12.6 mil­lion.

The Greens joined Sherri Koel­bel, chair­woman of the zoo’s board of trus­tees, in wel­com­ing the 270 pa­tron-level ticket-hold­ers who’d gath­ered for the VIP re­cep­tion that im­me­di­ately pre­ceded the event’s start.

Tr­ish Green said her goal in sup­port­ing Denver Zoo is to keep the pop­u­lar at­trac­tion on solid fi­nan­cial ground so that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are able to “see and learn about an­i­mals that they may never get a chance to see other­wise.”

Koel­bel re­called how her fam­ily’s con­nec­tion to the zoo spanned sev­eral gen­er­a­tions. “My hus­band’s grand­par­ents helped raise money for the zoo to pur­chase its first ele­phant and my mother-in-law (the late Gene Koel­bel) was on the board for more years than I can count.”

Del Frisco’s catered the VIP re­cep­tion that also fea­tured sou­venir snap­shots with some of the zoo’s crit­ters and mu­sic by DJ Shake One.

Anadarko was Do at the Zoo’s pre­sent­ing spon­sor; busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Philip Holmes and his wife, Bar­bara, helped rep­re­sent the com­pany.

Zoo trus­tees in at­ten­dance in­cluded im­me­di­ate past chair Lou Clin­ton and his wife, Sue; Doug Tis­dale with Stephanie Ben­der; Kelly Brough; Con­nie Gra­ham and hubby Andy Gra­ham; Paul Free­man with wife, Con­nie; Lynn Luce Kitt; Dr. Kevin Fitzger­ald with Terri Benjamin; Marcela de la Mar and hus­band John Fair; Sid Wil­son; and Kelly Eisinger with hus­band John.

Sharon Mag­ness Blake and Ernie Blake were there, too, along with Kevin and Mary McNi­cholas, whose K-M Con­ces­sions had catered Do at the Zoo back when it was a black-tie event with sit-down din­ner; Denver City Coun­cil­woman Mary Beth Sus­man; Rich von Luhrte, se­nior prin­ci­pal and emer­i­tus board mem­ber at RNL De­sign, with his wife, JoAnn; Dana Davis, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Chil­dren’s Di­a­betes Foun­da­tion; Sil­ver Spur Mar­ket­ing chief Bradley Joseph; An­gela Lieu­rance, who is a leader in the Na­tional West­ern Stock Show’s cur­rent cap­i­tal cam­paign; com­mer­cial Re­al­tor Dustin Whistler and Tamra Ward, the zoo’s chief ex­ter­nal re­la­tions of­fi­cer; Mike and Julie Mills; Haselden Con­struc­tion pres­i­dent By­ron Haselden; and Matthew and Priya Bur­kett.

He is founder, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Fly­fisher Group; she is re­gional di­rec­tor for Amer­i­can Ex­press.

Lou and Sue Clin­ton, left, with Kelly and John Eisinger. Pho­tos by Steve Peter­son, Ter­raChroma.com

Hol­lie Co­la­han, Gary Sch­less­man, Brian Au­cone and Tamra Ward.

Event chairs Ken and Tr­ish Green, with Sherri Koel­bel.

Roop Sam­pathi, left, with Matthew and Priya Bur­kett.

Dr. Kevin Fitzger­ald and Terri Benjamin.

Sarah Dug­ger with Ade­laide, a kook­aburra.

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