The 32nd annual gala Rendezvous In The Zoo (R*ITZ), this year with the theme “Party Animals,” was held June 20 at the San Diego Zoo to benefit San Diego Zoo Global.
Since it began in 1984, RITZ has raised more than $15 million for exhibits and facilities at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Proceeds from RITZ will benefit a new seashore habitat for critically-endangered African penguins, which will be located in the Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks area at the zoo.
The evening began with lavish hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and music near the flamingo lagoon. Exotic animals, including a cheetah, a koala, and tropical birds as well as their trainers, mingled with party-goers. In addition, guests were treated to a special animal presentation by conservation ambassador Joan Embery.
A gourmet dinner created by the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina followed in the dining area, where guests were immersed in the whimsical world of party animals. Colorful murals depicting party animals at their wildest — including penguins and other furry and feathery African critters — set the stage for a fun and memorable evening. Throughout the gala, revelers danced the night away to the music of Wayne Foster Entertainment.
Photos by Vincent Andrunas.