Annual Whirl Gala

Location: Whirl Tent

Date: Saturday, April 28

Reserve Your Tickets

The Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) Women's Board and Board of Trustees will host its 37th annual black-tie gala on Saturday, April 28, at Brookfield Zoo. The organization’s largest fundraiser of the year typically attracts more than 700 corporate, civic, and philanthropic leaders from throughout the Chicagoland area. This year’s event is titled “Whirl of Fortune.” Proceeds from the gala will support the animals at Brookfield Zoo, as well as the Chicago Zoological Society’s cutting-edge and award-winning conservation, education, and outreach programs.

The gala will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., during which nearly 20 of Brookfield Zoo’s animal ambassadors and their care staff will mingle with guests, offering the chance for unique up-close experiences and photo opportunities. A three-course dinner catered by Food for Thought and live music from one of Chicago’s most popular bands, Maggie Speaks, will follow. After dinner, casino-style entertainment and gaming will be open from 9 p.m. until midnight. Additionally, Aston Martin of Glenview is partnering with CZS on the event and will have an Aston Martin for guests to view.

A variety of items will be a part of the night’s raffle, including an in-home dinner and wine for 12 people catered by Food for Thought, an in-home wine tasting for 14-20 people, two VIP tickets to Brookfield Zoo’s Wines in the Wild event and a day at the zoo with lunch for five people. A live auction will feature a trip to St. Lucia, the naming of Brookfield Zoo’s red male panda, and a Palmiero colored “pansy” pendant with 2.06 carats of diamonds and 4.23 carats of pink, blue, and yellow sapphires set in 18 karat white gold courtesy of A. Marek Fine Jewelry.

Individual reservations cost $700 per person. Tables of 10 and various sponsorship levels are also available. Seating for this event is limited, and the event usually sells out. For tickets or further information, call (312) 553-2000 or visit

The Women’s Board of the Chicago Zoological Society supports community outreach such as school sponsorships and provides financial assistance for animal care, conservation programs, and special projects. The board has supported Brookfield Zoo since 1992, and its membership of approximately 70 women represents the entire Chicago area. Sasha L. Gerritson serves as the Women’s Board President and Elisa Templeton is the Whirl Chair.  

Backstage Adventures at Brookfield Zoo

New Penguin Encounters!

Join us for a unique close encounter with Humboldt penguins at Brookfield Zoo.

Sign Up for Zoo Classes

Parents and young explorers can experience serious fun at one of our Family Play Classes!

Free Admission for Military Personnel

To show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the men and women in the United States Armed Forces, the Chicago Zoological Society is offering free admission to Brookfield Zoo to all active, reservist, and retired members of the military. Qualified personnel who present a valid ID at one of the zoo's admission booths will be admitted free of charge.