by Sue Strachan, Social Scene columnist
In 1972, the Audubon Zoo was called an “animal ghetto.” Concerned citizens rallied to raise funds to improve the zoo, and in 1972, Kitty Duncan was the chair of the first Zoo-to-Do. Originally called the Beast Bash, it was held at the Marriott Hotel.
The benefit wasn’t held again until 1979, when Miriam Waddick took over the event chair reigns and it has been held at the Audubon Zoo ever since. At that time a new executive director, Ron Forman, was aboard. (And check out all of his ensembles through the years! Has he ever worn a tie twice?)
The following event chairs and their committees worked hard to make this event one of the largest non-medical fundraisers in the United States.
Original caption: “Audubon Zoo – A Zoo-To-Do II will take place Saturday at Audubon Park Zoo, and among those planning the party are (at right) zoo director L. Ronald Forman and Mrs. James K. Waddick II, chairman of the benefit. Audubon Park Zoo will be the setting Saturday evening for a Zoo_To-Do II, sponsored by the Friends of the Zoo.”
We searched our archives and asked the Audubon Nature Institute to help us find photos of each event chair — there are a few missing, so if you have a photo please send in!
Kitty Duncan* – 1972
Miriam Cooper* – 1979
Beth Cary – 1980
Kay Kerrigan – 1981
Mrs. James P. Hayes, Jr. – 1982
Karen B. Reily – 1983
Nancy O’Connell* – 1984
Mrs. Henry Leon Sarpy – 1985
Barbara Bush – 1986
Mrs. Richard Roussel – 1987
Peggy Laborde – 1988
Linds Westfeldt – 1991
Mrs. Robert Farnsworth – 1989
Ellen Brennan – 1990
Mrs. James J. Frischhertz – 1992
Anne Grace – 1993
Missy Lacroix – 1994
Barbara Boyce – 1995
Margo Phelps – 1996
Liz Sloss – 1997
C.C. Langenstein – 1998
Bev Church – 1999
Beth Lambert – 2000
Ann Koerner – 2001
25th Anniversary Gala – 2002
Kelsey Favrot* – 2003
Tina Kern – 2004
Ashley Bright – 2005
Myriam (Mimi) Robinson – 2006
Cathy Cary – 2007
Kate Werner – 2008
VIrginia Rowan – 2009
Libby Hoefer – 2010
Mary Johnson – 2011
Marliee Hovet – 2012
Olivia Manning – 2013
Michele T. Reynoir – 2014
Catherine Freeman – 2015
Caroline Calhoun – 2016
Caroline Reily – 2017
ORIGINAL CAPTION: Zoo-To-Do II – Others serving on the committee planning the Zoo-To-Do II are (above) Mrs. Lane T. DeBardeleben (left), president of Friends of the Zoo, and artist Ann Trenchard Cooper… Elephants, Annette Marie and Jena.
Beth Cary and Kitt Stumm at Zoo-to-Do in 1991. Beth Cary was an event chair in 1980.
Kay Kerrigan and Bobby Kerrigan at Zoo-to-Do in 1992. Kay was the event chair in 1981.
Mrs. James Hayes (photo, top left) was Zoo-to-Do chair in 1982. (Image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute)
Karen Riley and Tim Reily at Zoo-to-Do in 1983. Karen Riley was event chair in 1983. (Image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute)
Ruary and Nancy McConnell with and children Neill and Katie McConnell. Nancy was event chair in 1984. (image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute)
Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, Mrs. Richard Devlin Roussel, Mickey Barthelemy and Ron Forman at Zoo-to-Do in 1987. Mrs. Roussel was event chair in 1987. (Image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute.)
Peggy and Jack Laborde at Zoo-to-Do 1988. Peggy Laborde was event chair in 1988.
Ellen and Ted Brennan at Zoo-to-Do in 1990. Ellen was event chair in 1990.
Zoo-do-Do 1994 with Walter and Shug Lockett and Missy Lacroix and Bill Metcalf. Missy Lacroix was event chair in 1994. (Image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute)
Ron and Sally Forman with Jerry Boyce and Barbara Boyce at Zoo-to-Do 1995. Barbara Boyce was event chair in 1995. (Image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute)
Bill and C.C. Langenstein, Wil Jacobs at Zoo-to-Do in 2007. C.C. Langenstein was event chair in 1998.
Bev Church and Kay Kerrigan at the Zoo-to-Do 2005. Bev Church was event co-chair in 1999, Kay Kerrigan in 1981.
Ron and Sally Forman with Beth and Hugh Lambert at Zoo-to-Do in 2000. Beth Lambert was event chair in 2000. (Image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute)
Sally Forman, John Koerner, Ann Koerner and Ron Forman at Zoo-to-Do 2001. Ann Koerner was event co-chair in 2001. (Photo: Darlene Olivio, image courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute)
Kitty Duncan, Ron Forman, Kay Kerrigan and Dr. Willard Dumas at Zoo-to-Do 2002.
Kitty Duncan chaired the first Zoo-to-Do in 1972; Kay Kerrigan chaired it in 1981. 2002 was the 25th anniversary gala and previous event chairs were honored.
Ron and Sally Forman, Kelsey and James Favrot at Zoo-to-Do in 2003. Kelsey Favrot was the event chair in 2003.
Barry and Tina Kern, Ron and Sally Forman at Zoo-to-Do 2004. Tina Kern was the event chair in 2004.
Gordy Bright, Walker Bright, Ashley Bright, Edgar Bright, Ella Bright at the Zoo-to-Do 2005. Ashley Bright was the chair in 2005.
Ron Forman, Sally Forman, Mimi Bowen, Dr. John Bowen at the Zoo-to-Do 2006. Mimi Bowen (now Robinson) was event chair is 2006.
Ron and Sally Forman, Cathy and Rivie Cary at Zoo-to-Do 2007. Cathy Cary was the chair in 2007. Her mother-in-law, Beth Cary, was the event chair in 1980.
Ron and Sally Forman, Kate and John Werner at Zoo-to-Do 2008. Kate Werner was the chair in 2008.
John and Virginia Rowan, Sally and Ron Forman at Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2009. Virginia was the event chair in 2009.
Bruce and Libby Hoefer, Ron and Sally Forman at Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2010. Libby Hoefer was event chair in 2010.
Eddie and Mary Johnson, Sally and Ron Forman at Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2011. Mary Johnson was event chair in 2011.
Andrew and Marilee Hovet, Sally and Ron Forman at Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2012. Marilee Hovet was event chair in 2012.
Archie and Olivia Manning, Ron Forman at Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2013. Olivia Manning was event chair in 2013.
Eli Manning and Peyton Manning at Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2013. Event chair Olivia Manning’s sons — and quarterbacks — Eli Manning and Peyton Manning came to their mom’s event in 2013.
Kevin Clifford and Michelle Reynoir at the Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2014. Michelle Reynoir was event chair in 2014.
Peter and Catherine Freeman, Sally and Ron Forman at Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do 2015. Catherine Freeman was the event chair in 2015
Ron and Sally Forman, Caroline and Murray Calhoun at Whitney Bank Zoo-To-Do 2016. Caroline Calhoun was event chair in 2016.
The 2017 Whitney Bank Zoo-to-Do is Fri. May 5, 2017 at the Audubon Zoo. The event chair is Caroline Reily.
The party scene is from 2016.