Zoo Fund-Raiser Gives a Big Assist to Party Animals

What would it be like to throw a party for a group of real beasts? Ask Bel-Air resident Helen Maher, who has become quite an expert on party planning for animals.

Since 1978, Maher has served as volunteer chairwoman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn.'s annual Beastly Ball. Under her direction, this fund-raiser has grown substantially. The first ball she threw attracted 400 guests. Last year, more than 900 tickets were sold and the event raised more than $500,000. “I get excited about these wonderful animals,” she said. “I enjoy being a part of it and working to make the public aware of what we are doing and trying to accomplish.”

This year’s ball, to be held at the zoo on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m., will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the zoo’s current site.

One of the highlights of the ball will be an “auction” of exotic animals. Animals available for adoption range from a desert bighorn sheep to a baby wart hog and even a jackass penguin. Party-goers who make the highest bid won’t get to take the critters home, but will have the opportunity to name them.


The funds raised from the ball are put directly back into the zoo’s education and conservation programs. “We work hard to provide things for the zoo and to keep animal acquisitions and exhibits current,” Maher said.

The Senior Health and Peer Counseling Center in Santa Monica has named Dr. Robert Fredricks and Donald Watt to its board of directors.

Fredricks is senior vice president of medical affairs at St. John’s Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica.

Watt, who is vice chairman of the board of Watt Industries Inc., is a director for the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica and Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center Foundation.


Geddes MacGregor, an emeritus professor at Santa Monica College, has been elected to a visiting fellowship at the College of Preachers at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

MacGregor, who teaches human development courses, will take a leave of absence during the fall semester.

He is a resident of Los Angeles.

The United Negro College Fund has awarded two West Los Angeles College students full scholarships to attend Clark University in Atlanta.


Kasey Phillips and La Shan Brown, who were both communications majors at West L.A., will start classes at Clark this fall. The scholarships cover tuition, room, books and fees.