20th Anniversary of “Zoobilee! Feast with the Beasts,” Raises Over $276,000 for Roger Williams Park Zoo

20th Anniversary of “Zoobilee! Feast with the Beasts,” Raises Over $276,000 for Roger Williams Park Zoo

Select participating restaurants applauded for diner-pleasing offerings

Providence, RI— Roger Williams Park Zoo’s annual fundraising event “Zoobilee! Feast with the Beasts,” held on Saturday, June 30th, raised over $276,000  for the Zoo, thanks to the support of local businesses and sponsors, a dedicated committee of community leaders and the nearly 1,400 guests who turned out to have a “wild” time for a good cause.  The event’s fundraising was also bolstered by an online auction that featured over 200 items, including animal encounters, sports memorabilia, animal art, vacation packages and more, garnering over $43,000 of the total funds raised.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will directly support the Zoo’s 2013 environmental education programs as well as conservation initiatives that are working to save threatened and endangered species both locally and around the world. 

“The community came together to make this 20th Zoobilee one of the best ever,” said Zoo Director and Rhode Island Zoological Society Executive Director Jack Mulvena.  “The fact that we had some restaurants participating for nearly the full 20 years demonstrates the enduring appeal of the Zoo and of the event itself as one of the mainstays of the summer season in Rhode Island. We very much appreciate the support given so generously by local restaurants, sponsors, committee members, volunteers and of course all those who come out to enjoy the event. The proceeds are essential to sustain and grow the Zoo’s education and conservation programs.”

Zoobilee 2012 featured nearly 40 of the area’s best restaurants, caterers and beverage providers serving up some of their signature dishes.  Douglas Wine & Spirits, Zoobilee’s premier beverage sponsor, again hosted the event’s popular “Zootini Bar” featuring animal-themed cocktails.  In addition to the food and drink, Zoobilee partygoers enjoyed dancing to the tunes of the acclaimed World Premier Band and opening band Farm Dog. Performance artists from TEN31 Productions and special appearances by some of the Zoo’s education animals added to the festivities. 

As an added feature for the 20th anniversary of Zoobilee, the Zoo recognized participating restaurants for their dishes, spirit, and dedication. Diners voted for their favorite dishes: the pulled pork at Catering by Dave’s Marketplace, the Kona coffee crusted sirloin at The Capitol Grille, and the designer cupcakes, cake pops, and truffles from Sweet Indulgence were all honored as the “Best Dish” in their categories.  The Whiskey Republic and Lola’s Tequila Bar and Cantina shared the honor of the “Spirit of Zoobilee” award, given to the restaurant or caterer that best embodied the fun and spirit of the event through their booth decoration and staff enthusiasm.  Finally, the Zoo honored the following restaurants and providers for their long term commitment to Zoobilee: Audrey’s, Douglas Wine & Spirits, Trinity Brewhouse and Union Station Brewery (all 17 years), The Capital Grille and Gregg’s (14 years), Hemenway’s (14 years), Haruki (12 years).

Zoobilee 2012 was presented by the Stoico / FIRSTFED Charitable Foundation, and supported by numerous corporate and individual sponsors, as well as a dedicated committee of community leaders chaired by Jay Howell, President and GM of WPRI 12/Fox Providence/myRITV. 

To find out more about Zoobilee and how to get involved in next year’s event on June 29, 2013, visit www.rwpzoo.org and click on the Zoobilee link under “Get Involved.”


Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the nation, is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction, and is also a
leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size.  The Zoo has received numerous awards for environmental education, and
conservation work done locally and around the world, caring for species that without human intervention would face certain extinction. 
Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.