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The Wildlife Conservation Society invites you to our 30th Annual Family Benefit

Wednesday, October 11, 2023
4:00 to 7:00 PM

Central Park Zoo
Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

Online sales are closed.
For further information, please contact Michelle Petrone at mpetrone@wcs.org.

About the Event

The Explorers’ Party is the annual family benefit of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where we welcome you to the Central Park Zoo to celebrate WCS’s mission to save wildlife and wild places. This one-of-a-kind event inspires children (ages 2-12) to discover their inner explorer and learn about the planet’s most spectacular wildlife. Your support of the Explorers’ Party will help WCS protect vulnerable wildlife in the last wild places on earth.

The Explorers’ Party is held rain or shine. In the event of rain, all seating, food, and activities will be placed under cover. Don’t let a little rain keep you away from a fun evening at the Zoo!

  • Enjoy exclusive access to the Central Park Zoo’s animal exhibits
  • Engage in educational crafts and activities
  • Watch a Wildlife Theater performance
  • Dig into a family friendly buffet dinner

Wild about Sea life!

Our oceans are home to a dazzling array of life—from colorful corals to enormous whales—and they provide critical resources to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. But sea life faces major threats, including overfishing, pollution, and climate change.

WCS is dramatically increasing ocean protections across the globe. Since 2016, we have helped create over 60 Marine Protected Areas around the world, which safeguard whales, dolphins, sea turtles, fish, sharks, corals, and more. Our experts are also leading efforts here in New York, working to get the Hudson Canyon—the largest submarine canyon along the US Atlantic coast—designated as a National Marine Sanctuary.

Did you know?

  • Thresher sharks use their tails as whips to stun their prey, earning them the nickname “Indiana Jones” sharks.
  • Blue whales are the largest known animal to ever exist on the planet—even larger than dinosaurs.
  • Lobsters can live to be over 100 years old.
  • Octopuses have nine brains.
  • More than half of the world’s oxygen comes from plants that live in the ocean.
  • A group of resting sea otters is called a raft.
Protecting Waters Close to Home
Protecting Waters Close to Home
About 100 miles southeast of the Statue of Liberty is the Hudson Canyon, an underwater haven for sperm whales, sea turtles, deep-sea corals, and many other species. WCS is advocating to name the Hudson Canyon a National Marine Sanctuary, which would protect its marine life from future oil, gas, and mineral development.
Connecting People to Nature
Connecting People to Nature
WCS welcomes millions of guests every year to our four zoos – the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo – and the New York Aquarium. We work to educate and inspire the next generation of scientists, veterinarians, conservationists, and teachers at our urban wildlife parks. In 2022, we reached over 1,800 youth, ages 14 to 24, who participated in enrichment, volunteering, internship, and employment opportunities across our parks.
Safeguarding Sharks
Safeguarding Sharks
The whale shark is not a “whale” at all: at almost 40 feet long, it is the largest shark in the world. WCS is working to protect this species and other sharks across our oceans by guiding nations in their efforts to create protected areas for marine life and reduce harmful fishing practices. Recently, we pushed to increase trade protections for sharks and rays in countries around the world.
Promoting Penguins
Promoting Penguins
For decades, WCS has been researching and conserving penguins off the Patagonian coast. But seeing a penguin for yourself is only a train ride away: WCS has seven species of penguins across three of its New York City wildlife parks.
Climate Change-Resilient Coral Reefs
Climate Change-Resilient Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are home to a quarter of all life in the ocean, but climate change, water pollution, and excessive fishing pose threats to reef survival. Recent research from WCS and partners showed that climate-resilient reefs are connected by invisible underwater networks that could survive climate change impacts, which can help inform our conservation.
Protecting Nature’s Strongholds
Protecting Nature’s Strongholds
WCS protects many of the world’s most threatened natural strongholds that are home to iconic species including elephants, apes, big cats, sharks, rays, whales, dolphins, tortoises, and freshwater turtles. We’re catalyzing efforts to protect 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030.
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Ticket Packages

Please click on each package below for a full list of benefits.
Names will be held at the door. Purchases are non-refundable.

All gifts of $1,500 and above will be listed on the webpage.

Online sales are closed.
For further information, please contact Michelle Petrone at mpetrone@wcs.org.

($24,200 is tax-deductible)

  • Verbal recognition of your family at the event
  • Early event admission
  • Recognition on signage for sponsoring two activities
  • Two reserved tables of ten at the event
  • Twenty Explorers’ Party Tickets
  • Recognition on the event webpage, event signage, and evening program
  • Invitations to an Insider Briefing with WCS President & CEO and a WCS webinar

($9,600 is tax-deductible)

  • Recognition on signage for sponsoring one activity
  • Reserved table of ten at the event
  • Ten Explorers’ Party Tickets
  • Recognition on the event webpage, event signage, and evening program
  • Invitation to an Insider Briefing with WCS President & CEO

($4,600 is tax-deductible)

  • Reserved table of five at the event
  • Ten Explorers’ Party Tickets
  • Recognition on the event webpage and event signage
  • Invitation to a WCS webinar

($2,180 is tax-deductible)

  • Eight Explorers’ Party Tickets
  • Recognition on the event webpage
  • Invitation to a WCS webinar

($1,260 is tax-deductible)

  • Six Explorers’ Party Tickets
  • Recognition on the event webpage

($300 is tax-deductible)

  • Five Explorers’ Party Tickets

Under federal tax rules, certain restrictions apply to the purchase of event tickets by donor advised funds and private foundations. Please contact your tax advisor or your DAF’s sponsoring organization for more details.

COVID-19 WARNING: An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By visiting WCS’s facilities, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. If you are sick, or have possible symptoms, please stay home and take time to recover.

MASKS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR VISIT. Guests and staff may continue to wear masks for a variety of reasons, so please be kind and considerate of others.

Committee

CO-CHAIRS

Kara and Simon Gerson
Gillian Hearst
Melanie and Matthew McLennan
Margo M. and James L. Nederlander
Melinda and John Pyne
Jennifer and Joe Reardon

Committee

Katherine and Marco Birch
Marie and Joseph Bowden
Mimi and Andy Crawford
Sarah and John Dearie
Susanne and Douglas Durst
Lisa and Sandy Ehrenkranz
Andrew Fein and Hitomi Ichimura Fein
Beverly Johnson and Patrick McCormick
Meghan and Adam Klopp

Wesley and Evan LePatner
Leah and Matt MacDonald
Elizabeth and Michael Moran
Whitney Rouse Teach and Jeff Teach
Stephanie and Paul Stamas
Galit and Gary Svirsky
Jackie Thomson and Brian Mota
Dina Wizmur and Theodore Gleser

Thank you for your Support!

Snow Leopards

Gillian Hearst
Melanie and Matthew McLennan
Margo M. and James L. Nederlander

Sea Lions

Kara and Simon Gerson
Melinda and John Pyne
Jennifer and Joe Reardon
Larry and Wendy Rockefeller

Penguins

Susanne and Douglas Durst
Russell and Whitney Frahm
Galit and Gary Svirsky

Lemurs

Katherine and Marco Birch
Marie and Joseph Bowden
Mimi and Andy Crawford
Sarah and John Dearie
Lisa and Sandy Ehrenkranz
Lisa Fairstein
Andrew Fein and Hitomi Ichimura Fein
Hamilton James
Beverly Johnson and Patrick McCormick
Meghan and Adam Klopp
Wesley and Evan LePatner
The Nicholas Martini Foundation
Elizabeth and Michael Moran
Mariola Leal Porres 
Whitney Rouse Teach and Jeff Teach
Stephanie and Paul Stamas
Jackie Thomson and Brian Mota
Dina Wizmur and Theodore Gleser

WCS BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Robert G. Menzi
Interim President and CEO

Alejandro Santo Domingo
Chair

Thomas J. Edelman
Treasurer

Hamilton E. James
Vice Chair

Elizabeth Ainslie
Secretary

Elected Trustees

Elizabeth Ainslie
Frederick W. Beinecke
Rosina M. Bierbaum
Duncan A. Chapman
Katherine L. Dolan
Thomas J. Edelman
Christopher J. Elliman
Paul A. Gould
Peter T. Grauer
Jonathan D. Green
Antonia M. Grumbach
O. Andreas Halvorsen
Judith H. Hamilton
Jan Hatzius
John N. Irwin III
Hamilton E. James

Julia Marton-Lefèvre
Ambrose K. Monell
Adebayo O. Ogunlesi
Alejandro Santo Domingo
Juan Manuel Santos
David B “Scott” Schiff
Walter C. Sedgwick
Katherine Sherrill
Caroline N. Sidnam
Loretta M. Stadler
Andrew H. Tisch
Roselinde Torres
Marcel van Poecke
Akiko Yamazaki
Robert B. Zoellick

Life Trustees

C. Diane Christensen
Howard Phipps, Jr., Chair Emeritus
David T Schiff, Chair Emeritus
Mrs. Leonard N. Stern
Ward W. Woods, Chair Emeritus
Barbara Hrbek Zucker

Trustees Emeriti

Eleanor Briggs
Jonathan L. Cohen
Gordon E. Dyal
Bradley L. Goldberg
Brian J. Heidtke

Contact

For more information, please contact Michelle Petrone at 718 741 1639 or mpetrone@wcs.org

Learn more at wcs.org

WCS logo

Mission
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

Vision
WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth.

Photo Credits: ©Emily Darling/WCS; Julie Larsen Maher © WCS; ©Scott Ramsay/WCS; ©Tom Vierus

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