Zoofari 2016 celebrates Cincinnati Zoo’s lush habitat

Zoofari chairs Maribeth and Marty Rahe

Zoofari chairs Maribeth and Marty Rahe

Friday, Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m.-midnight, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Behind the glamour of the animal kingdom at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden grows a lush backdrop. Branches, roots and blossoms intertwine to provide a natural habitat that nourishes and protects the wild animals within.

This year, the zoo’s premiere party with a purpose, Zoofari, spotlights the garden – one of only two accredited botanical gardens in Ohio.

Zoofari 2016: A Botanical Dream – presented by Performance Lexus and Performance Lexus Rivercenter – is expected to draw 2,500 corporate leaders, zoo supporters and philanthropists.

Guests will dine and unwind under the canopy of towering foliage from many climates.

Funds raised at the 34th annual Zoofari will support the care of 500 animal and 3,000 plant species, ground-breaking conservation and reproduction work, and educational outreach programs that touch more than 330,000 students annually.

Event chairs Maribeth and Marty Rahe said this year’s theme “promises to bring out the radiant beauty and colorful life inside each of us. Every Zoofari is uniquely special and filled with wonderful food, friends and fun.”

The evening includes drinks, dinner by the bite from 60 restaurants, wild animal encounters, a silent auction and “GiRaffle,” high-energy entertainment and dancing under the stars.

Event committee members are Eileen Barrett, Cathy Caldemeyer, Cathy Crain, Milly Huffman, Dr. Renu Kotwal, Debbie Oliver, Dianne Rosenberg, Nancy Rosenthal, Anne Zaring, Jane Votel and The Cincinnati Horticultural Society.

The zoo encourages fashionistas to flaunt their best black-tie attire or give a nod to floral or earthy styles to fit the botanical theme. As always, animal prints are in vogue.

Tickets start at $200. 513-487-3328 or cincinnatizoo.org/events/zoofari

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