It’s A Party in the Outback at the Living Desert’s Annual Zoobilee! Gala

 It’s going to be a “Party in the Outback” at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ annual Zoobilee Gala on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Guests are invited to share in an evening of spirited beverages, Aussie entertainment, auction opportunities, “Down Under” dining, and of course, engaging animals.

Generously presented by Harold Matzner and Shellie Reade, and honoring Patti and Jack Grundhofer, the 26th Annual Zoobilee Gala will be one to remember. Guests, encouraged to dress in Outback chic, will be treated to an Australian-themed evening, complete with unique experiences such as up-close animal encounters, and the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind silent and live auction items.

The Gala fundraiser kicks off with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 5:30 p.m., at the Patti and Jack Grundhofer Plaza and Living Legacy Garden, followed by dinner, entertainment, and a live auction at 7 p.m.

“The Living Desert is thankful for its generous patrons and donors,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO. “It’s their ongoing support that allows us to continue our conservation efforts and expand our reach to help save endangered and threatened species. Zoobilee is one of our biggest fundraisers and we invite everyone to join us for a Party in the Outback.”

This year, long-time Zoo supporters Patti and Jack Grundhofer will be honored for their leadership in helping to complete Phase One of the current capital campaign, Pride of the Desert. The Patti and Jack Grundhofer Plaza is now open and welcoming guests with a stunning entrance into the zoo.

To date, the 2019 Zoobilee Gala’s presenting sponsors and honorary co-chairs are Harold Matzner and Shellie Reade. They are joined by bronze sponsors Suzan and Bill Appel and the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, and underwriting patrons Shirley Smith, Dick Shalhoub, Palm Springs Life and Hotel Paseo. The gala committee includes co-chairs Jon-Marc Blalock and Nancy Stegehuis, and committee members Karen Alciatore, Suzan Appel, Erica Espinola, Judy Esterbrook, Dennis Flaig, Marylynn Gladstein, Jan Harnik, Mark Hersh, Candace Holzgrafe, Peggy Karcher, Janet Lanterman, Jaishri Mehta, Davis Meyer, Jneil Nelson, Sharon O’Donnell, Nick Raab, Nancy Rosenthal, Dick Shalhoub, Mary Lou Solomon, John Southorn, Patty Spicer, Carla Sullivan-Dilley, Donna Ward, Julie Williamson and Sandy Woodson.

Proceeds from the Zoobilee Gala help educate more than 100,000 children about conservation each year, provide the best and highest level of animal care and offer guests the opportunity to interact with desert species from around the world.  Tickets are $500 per person and sponsorship opportunities begin at $2,500.

For more information, underwriting and sponsor opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit or contact Greg Murphy at or (760) 346-9584.



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