Al Capone joined Meredith Osborne and Tim Huizenga in celebrating the Roaring ’20s at the 2019 Whirl.
By Megan McKinney
What a glorious evening! The Brookfield Zoo Whirl is always special; however, this year, the mammoth annual gala celebrated a notable centennial. In 1919, Chicago’s double rich girl Edith Rockefeller McCormick donated an expanse of land to the Forest Preserves of Cook County upon which to build a modern zoo. Coincidentally, 100 years ago, the nation was also roaring into the 1920s, but nowhere more so than in Chicago, hence the Roaring Whirl 2019 theme, enhanced by a visit from a great looking version of Al Capone.
The Grand Tent was imaginatively decorated by The Flower Firm to express the 1920s theme, and Calihan Catering followed through with a delectable three-course dinner designed for the most discerning modern taste. Energetic dancing to the popular band music of Maggie Speaks followed dinner.
A unique feature of Whirl is that it always begins with a roving, yet structured, cocktail hour featuring up-close experiences and photo opportunities with many of the zoo’s animal ambassadors, including this year, a prehensile-tailed porcupine, tamandua (a small anteater), binturong, and a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo.
The evening’s chair, Barbara J. Bradford, a member of the Chicago Zoological Society’s Board of Trustees, was joined in overseeing the gala by Co-Chair Romana E. Malinowski, a member of the Women’s Board.
Dr. Stuart Strahl is Chicago Zoological Society President and CEO, John Grube is Board of Trustees Chairman and Sasha Gerritson, Women’s Board President.
Proceeds from Whirl—this year more than $1.4 million—support the animals at Brookfield Zoo, as well as the Society’s conservation, education and research programs.
Chicago Zoological Society Board of Trustees Chairman John Grube, Chicago Zoological Society Women’s Board President Sasha Gerritson and Chicago Zoological Society President and CEO Dr. Stuart Strahl.
Animal Care Specialist Maggie Chardell holding one of Brookfield Zoo’s animal ambassadors, with John Grube, 2019 Whirl Chair Barbara Bradford, 2019 Whirl Co-Chair Romana Malinowski and Dr. Stuart Strahl.
Allison Elfman with Chicago Zoological Society Board of Trustees Vice Chair Betsy Bramsen.
ComEd President Joe Dominguez and Amy Trojecki with Verónica Gómez and Jeff Bushofsky
Jeff Keller and Chicago Zoological Society Trustee Molly Keller.
Meredith Osborne and Tim Huizenga.
Chicago Zoological Society Governing Member Ambassador Doris Christopher and
Chicago Zoological Society Trustee Heidi Huizenga with Barbara Bradford .
John Canning, Rita Canning, Jessica Canning, Melissa and Michael Canning with Beth and Tony Lupo.
Bryan Croll and Chicago Zoological Society Women’s Board Member Josie Croll.
Hal Morris and Alyssa Rapp with Chicago Zoological Society Board of Trustees Vice Chair Rick Elfman and Allison Elfman.
Doris Christopher with Chicago Zoological Society Board of Trustees Vice Chair Kelley Schueler.
Chicago Zoological Society Board of Trustees Vice Chair Bert Getz and Susie Getz.
Preston Kangas and Chicago Zoological Society Women’s Board Member Stephanie Kangas with
Esther Bryan and Chicago Zoological Society Trustee Jim Bryan.
Nancy and Michael Timmers.
Joe and Cheryl Skender.
Flappers for the evening: Chicago Zoological Society Associate Morgan Olszewski and Chicago Zoological Society Women’s Board Member Katie Feagans.
Betsy and Jim Bramsen.
Molly Keller with Chicago Zoological Society Women’s Board Member Elisa Templeton.
Betsy and Dave Bradley.
Tim Ozinga with the BZ Bear.
The Mystique Dancers and . . .
. . . Saved for last—however, far from least—the fabulous Maggie Speaks with members of her band.
Jim Schultz/Chicago Zoological Society
Kelly Tone/Chicago Zoological Society
Lisa Miller/Chicago Zoological Society
Robert F. Carl