Every year, the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Women’s Board hosts a grand gala that combines elegance and philanthropy with a unique twist – a captivating wildlife theme that sets it apart from Chicago’s typical social events. This was our team’s first year designing this event and we may be biased, but we think it was a “roaring” success! We worked under the careful supervision of “Jabari” the majestic lion that resides next to the event space. He was a very welcome distraction though he looked much more comfortable with the heat than our fellow humans!  

The decor embodied the beauty of the animal kingdom. Tall, tropical plant sculptures flanked the entrance, framing the captivating experience that awaited them inside. The gala’s main ballroom served as the heart of the event, where attendees were transported into an African safari. The stunning centerpieces consisted of unique flowers and plants such as “kangaroo paw”, protea and saffron. The use of earthy tones, such as rich browns, greens, and golds, with pops of vibrant color ties the decor back to the beauty of nature. Due to the high winds, our centerpieces couldn’t quite “reach new heights” but thanks to Vince’s quick thinking, we were able to repurpose some of our tallest trees!  

As the evening progressed, the tent transformed into a starlit sky. Fairy lights and floating candles twinkled on the tables enhancing the enchantment of the evening. Beyond the ballroom the second tent hosted an expansive dance floor with life-sized giraffes keeping an eye on the guests.  

VH Designs is a crew of total animal lovers, so we were honored to be a part of this event which provides for the zoo’s animal care and welfare programs as well as global conservation efforts and learning programs.