Have you ever arrived at a gala by open-air gondola? Or attended an after-party under the sea? On September 10, 2021, guests at the Omaha Zoo Foundation’s biennial Zoofari event, which has the theme “Looking for Our Heroes,” will have the opportunity to do these things and much more.

“Zoofari 2021 is going to be unlike anything Omaha has ever seen before, and it’s all because of the unwavering support of our heroes,” says Tina Cherica, president of the Omaha Zoo Foundation. “It has been an unprecedented year but, with the generous support of our donors, we have remained committed to our mission of helping to grow an environment where wonder can live and education can thrive. We are excited for everyone to experience it for themselves at Zoofari.”

Guests will begin the evening by opting to be chauffeured by golf cart and wend their way through the sights and sounds of the African Grasslands at sunset, or hop on Skyfari for a bird’s eye view. “It’s a drive-through safari,” says Ellen Wright, who with her husband, Stavely, is co-chairing the event. “As guests move through the Zoo, they will see the remarkable improvements and have an intimate look at what their financial support has helped make happen.”

Upon arrival at the beautiful new Harper Event Center and its surrounding gardens—which many will be seeing for the first time—guests will enjoy cocktails and dinner to the sounds of drum performances by the African Cultural Connection. Actress Melissa Peterman–back by popular demand after her hilarious turn as emcee at Zoofari, 2019—will be master-of-ceremonies, presiding over a silent and live auction that includes an around-the-world dining experience at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and an African safari hosted by Dr. Lee G. Simmons. One lucky bidder will even have the opportunity to be a godparent to the Zoo’s new baby elephant, expected in February 2022. They will be able to participate in a veterinary check-up on Claire, the proud mama, and be among the first to meet the new calf when it arrives.

Zoofari 2021 is sold out, but there is still time to purchase individual tickets to the Post Party, which will begin at 8:30 p.m. the same evening in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium. Guests at this rollicking event will enjoy the DJ spinning lively music along with drinks and pub-style food. This event is a sneak peek and kick-off to ZooLaLa, an event geared toward our younger patrons that will take place on alternate years to Zoofari and is being co-chaired for 2022 by Haley Walker and Regan Fahey Muhs.

To learn more about Zoofari, the Post Party and how you can be a hero to animals right here in Omaha as well as all over the world, please contact the Omaha Zoo Foundation.