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Monkey Business at Santa Ana Zoo

Gala raises needed funds for animal habitats

Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Sally Cadwallader, Cathi Decker and Liberace the Rooster

The grounds of the Santa Ana Zoo became an opulent setting worthy of a Chinese emperor for the 24th annual Zoofari gala in late August. Themed Year of the Monkey, the event netted over $160,000, including $29,000 from the live auction to refurbish the pygmy marmoset or “finger monkey” exhibit. The little animals currently are difficult for zoo patrons to observe, and the exhibit updates will also help make the creatures more comfortable.

An armadillo, blue-tongued skink and spectacled owl – with their handlers, of course – were just some of the animals that welcomed the evening’s 300 guests. Guests also received a private zoo tour to see where the new giant river otters will be housed and, of course, the 50 monkeys for which the zoo is famed.

Former KTLA sports anchor Ed Arnold and co-owner of South Coast Plaza Sandy Segerstrom Daniels served as masters of ceremonies, with brother and sister duo Glen Fladeboe and Kristine Fladeboe Duininck as auctioneers. Honorees were Howard and Karin Hall, Friends of the Santa Ana Zoo board members since 1992, who have helped the zoo through putting together Eagle Scout projects and generating revenue through the zoo’s rides. The largest and most sought-after item in the “Good Fortune” live auction was a 30-minute flight for two in the Goodyear Blimp. Jane Olin and Tim Jerkovich were the lucky winners.

Zoofari is chaired by Cathi Decker and sponsored by FOSAZ, the nonprofit that has helped support and improve the zoo for more than 44 years.

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