Tulsa Zoo WALTZing on the Wild Side

JUNGLE BEATS: Dredd Drum entertained WALTZ on the Wild Side guests as they entered the Tulsa Zoo. WALTZ is an annual fundraising event at the Tulsa Zoo; this year’s event raised over $150,000 for the “Growing Wild!??? Capital Campaign.

ELIZ HOLLIS for GTR Newspapers

Lavish, grandeur, opulence, splendor and elegance are all words that best define both the environment and experience at Tulsa Zoo’s 2007 WALTZ on the Wild Side. “Take a little bite and get down tonight” was held June 15 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Tulsa Zoo. Returning as Chairs for the 2007 WALTZ were Greg and Tara Hughes.

“This was a great year,” says Greg. “You can’t recreate the scene here. This is an incredible, upscale event.”

Last year over 750 guests attended WALTZ and at this year’s event, the Tulsa Zoo hosted even more beautiful faces in the crowd.

“This is the best event in town, it’s our favorite event to attend,” says Tara. “Supporting places like this and volunteering our time is important to us.”

WALTZ, which stands for “we all love Tulsa Zoo,” is the one time of the year the zoo elevates to VIP status. It is a unique opportunity where guests can rub elbows with the “movers and shakers” of Tulsa and the surrounding community.

Upon entering the zoo, guests were greeted by fire blowers, drummers and chic models. As they made their way to the epicenter of the party, the American Airlines tent, music from this year’s headline act, Banana Seat, filled the air. WALTZ proved to be a culinary adventure as well: aside of sampling food and appetizers from Tulsa’s finest restaurants, guests also had the opportunity to sip on colorful cocktails as they meandered around the zoo’s own lively backdrop.

“There’s so much to this party that makes this event that much cooler than any other,” says Tara.

Greg is also a Member of the Board of Tulsa Zoo Friends. He and Tara were joined this year by a number of distinguished committee members, including Doug and Liza DeJarnette, Melissa Minshall, Bonnie Minshall, Chris and Candy Phillips, Robert and Sara Franden, Chad and Christie Smith, Serene Rogers, Philip Houchin, Katy Hawes, Adam and Arin Robinson, Whitney Miller, Tom and Jess Biolchini, Jeff and Jessica Swanson, Phil and Margie Hughes and Tony Henry.

Now in its 17th year, WALTZ on the Wild Side is Tulsa Zoo’s premier fundraising event. Proceeds from this event benefit Tulsa Zoo’s “Growing Wild!” Capital campaign, which helps fund improvements to a number of exhibits including a new California Sea Lion exhibit, an African-themed Event Center and upgrades to the Asian Cats exhibit.

WALTZ on the Wild Side has historically benefited a number of exhibits that over 500,000 Tulsa Zoo visitors each year have now come to enjoy. WALTZ has directly enabled Tulsa Zoo to fund upgrades or new exhibits in the following areas: elephant demonstration and reserve yards; Chimpanzee Connection, Elephant Encounter Museum, Aldabra tortoise exhibit, 20,000-gallon shark aquarium, African penguin exhibit, jaguar exhibit in the tropical American rain forest, renovation to the polar bear exhibit, cheetah exhibit and Masaai Village.

Apache Corporation and Odyssey Energy Services, LLC were the 2007 major sponsors for WALTZ. Supporting sponsors include Bank of America, Bank of Oklahoma, Ihloff Salon and Day Spa, Oklahoma Magazine, Omni Air International, SemGroup, The F&M Bank & Trust Company, Tulsa Vein Specialists and Tulsa World.

Updated 07-21-2007

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