Zoo Atlanta will have a delayed opening this Saturday, April 27 due to the Run Like Wild 5K race. Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. 

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Beastly Feast returns for “A Walk on the Wild Side”

Ford Motor Company Fund served as Presenting Sponsor in 37th year of support

ATLANTA – May 17, 2022 – One of Atlanta’s most anticipated black-tie galas returned on Saturday, May 7, at the 2022 Beastly Feast to benefit Zoo Atlanta. Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, served as the event’s Presenting Sponsor, marking Ford’s 37th year of support for The Beastly Feast. The 2022 event, “A Walk on the Wild Side,” welcomed nearly 500 guests to the Zoo’s Ford Pavilion and raised nearly $950,000.

attendees pose at the Beastly Feast
Pictured from left to right are Jessica Heckner, CX Operations Manager, Ford Motor Company-Atlanta, Region; Raymond King, Zoo Atlanta President and CEO; 2022 Beastly Feast Honorary Co-Chairs Faye and Drew Evans; and Benna Deese, Manager, Global Operations & Atlanta Partnerships, Ford Motor Company Fund.

The event’s Honorary Co-Chairs were Faye and Drew Evans, both of whom have longtime ties to Zoo Atlanta. Mr. Evans has served 14 years on the Zoo’s Board of Directors, including two terms as Board Chair. Dr. Evans has lent her expertise as a pediatric anesthesiologist to assist the Zoo’s Veterinary Services Team in the care of a primate born with significant health issues and in a primate procedure for the Great Ape Heart Project, the first coordinated clinical approach targeting cardiovascular disease across all four non-human great ape taxa: gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, and bonobos. Over the years, both have played pivotal roles in fundraising efforts that helped shape the future of the organization.

“We were thrilled to host a successful Beastly Feast surrounded by so many supporters and friends of Zoo Atlanta on its most beautiful night of the year. This event is a vibrant example of the outstanding tradition of generosity from our community toward the Zoo and its mission of conservation and education,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “We are deeply grateful for an extraordinary 37 years of Presenting Sponsorship from the Ford Motor Company. It is the support of corporations such as Ford that enables the continuance and growth of the work we do.”

The event featured cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from some of Atlanta’s top restaurants during an outdoor stroll through the Zoo, followed by a seated dinner and dancing in the Ford Pavilion, transformed for the night by Tony Brewer & Company. An annual highlight of The Beastly Feast is its silent auction, featuring art; jewelry; home décor; antiques; travel opportunities; boxes at sporting and cultural events; one-of-a-kind Zoo experiences; and more.

“Ford Motor Company Fund believes in the power of collaboration. Through Ford’s 37 years as Presenting Sponsor of the Beastly Feast, we have enjoyed the positive impact that has arisen from this valued partnership in support of Zoo Atlanta’s conservation and education efforts. We look forward to a continued relationship with this beloved member of the Atlanta community,” said Benna Deese, Manager of Global Operations & Atlanta Partnerships for Ford Motor Company Fund.

Ford Motor Company’s indelible mark on Zoo Atlanta began with the 1988 opening of The Ford African Rain Forest, which was a landmark event for Zoo Atlanta and for the City of Atlanta, when the complex’s most famous inhabitant, the legendary late Willie B. the western lowland gorilla, stepped outside for the first time in more than 25 years. The Ford African Rain Forest’s gorilla population is now one of the largest in North America. The complex also includes The Living Treehouse, home to black-and-white-ruffed lemurs, crowned lemurs, ringtailed lemurs and a spectacular diversity of bird life, and The Monkeys of Makokou, home to Angolan colobus monkeys, drill monkeys, Schmidt’s guenons, and Wolf’s guenons.

The 2023 Beastly Feast will take place on Saturday, May 6. Stay tuned to zooatlanta.org for further information.



Rachel Davis
Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office
404.309.2238 – cell

Gavin Johnson
Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office


ABOUT: About Zoo Atlanta

A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs, meerkats, and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the new Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.

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