Malibu Seen: Wild Things!

Beastly Ball honoree Lance Bass goes wild with Tom LaBonge, GLAZA Co-Chair Betty White and Jason Kidd at the Beastly Ball.

She may be in her 90s, but TV icon and personality Betty White is as fierce as ever. She also had a fur-ociously good time at her favorite summer hotspot — the Los Angeles Zoo. Wandering through its beautiful grounds and eyeing its beautiful beasts, Betty joined 800 safari-clad animal lovers for this year’s Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s 45th Beastly Ball.

Guests had a blast getting up close and personal with all sorts of wildlife including lions, tigers and bears — oh my!

Love was in the air and this was a rare opportunity to catch the critters in their natural state, one frisky couple added a lesson on the birds and bees — free of charge!

The critter crowd included Sarah Michelle Gellar, Richard Lichtenstein and Pauley Perrette. The hungry pack listened to exotic world music as they strolled at dusk. 

While they got to watch the animals dig in during meal time, they also picked up bites from famed local restaurants like El Coyote Mexican Café, The Federal Bar, Hard Rock Café, Malbec Argentinean Cuisine, Taix French Restaurant, Ushuaia Argentinean Steakhouse, Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, Sam’s By The Beach and Taste Of the Wild Catering. They savored international flavors, sampling everything from sushi to refreshing sundaes and hot tamales. Then, it was time for a few words on behalf of the animals from their adoring two-legged friends. 

The animal house party honored Los Angeles City Council Member Tom LaBonge as well as the 99 Cents Only Store chain for its efforts. Lance Bass, who shot to fame as a member of pop band ‘N Sync, also got kudos on behalf of GLAZA’s precious wild things. Lance took home the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award.

Betty White and Richard Lichtenstein served as GLAZA Co-Chair. Pauley Perrette and Sarah Michelle Gellar are both former Mankiewicz Award winners. 

Michael Turchin, actress Valerie Bertinelli, comedian Jimmy Pardo, L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis, GLAZA President Connie Morgan, several city council members, as well as Paramount Pictures’ COO Frederick Huntsberry were also spotted in the crowd. Fred is also a GLAZA Trustee.

Jimmy Pardo oversaw the program with his signature humor as MC and live auctioneer. Live and silent auctions boasted hundreds of remarkable items and one-of-a-kind prizes — among them, the chance to be an L.A. Zoo koala keeper for a day. Unless you happen to be a professional handler, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the cuddly cuties while preparing food, devising activities, feeding and more. The biggest draw of them all was a seven-day, six-night stay for eight of your animal loving pals at the lavish private manor and estate in the Highlands of Scotland. 

The event raised more than a million bucks to care for and secure the future of creatures big and small the world over. Now that’s something to crow about!