Dr. Steven Sanderson,
Judy Price, Allison Stern.

Carroll Petrie, Carolina Herrera,
Norma Dana.

Dancer in Angus Strathie

Baby King Penguin
Photo by Jonathan R. Moller

Chinstrap Penguin
Photo by Jonathan R. Moller
Guests Glitter at Tiffany Party
For Wildlife Conservation

Story by Roger Webster
Photos by Patrick McMullan

HE Wildlife Conservation Society was created 100 years ago and helped save the American bison from extinction, will hold a black-tie dinner dance on May 30 in the Central Park Zoo. The theme, Penguins and Pearls, capitalizes on the biggest asset of one of the world’s most beleaguered species, penguins, that have been so negatively affected by global warming.

Ten of the world’s seventeen penguin types are already on endangered lists. The penguins, however, have an ace in the hole –their utterly irresistible cuteness.

Tiffany and Co., the sponsor of the benefit, and its president Michael Kowalski recently hosted a fabulous kickoff party in their Fifth Avenue flagship store. There were exotic dancers in fantasy mermaid costumes created by Angus Strathie, who designed for the film Moulin Rouge.

Sotheby’s Jamie Niven led an auction for such items as a white Tiffany keshi pearl pendant coupled with a sleek black evening dress designed by the gala’s chair, Carolina Herrera, plus a scuba diving trip to the Belize Barrier Reef with a WCS marine scientist, and even the naming rights to one of the zoo’s baby penguins. The auction raised $60,000.

WCS president Dr. Steven E. Sanderson greeted gala chairs and committee members such as Carroll Petrie, Allison and Leonard Stern, Norma Dana, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Judy Price, Fernanda Kellogg, Pamela Gross, Carol Mack, Debby and Billy Bancroft, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Helen and Tim Schifter, Ashley Schiff, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Marissa Bregman and Elizabeth Kieselstein-Cord.

The hors d‘oeuvres, appropriately from the sea, were enjoyed by Jane Gammill, Tina Louise, Chris and Grace Meigher, crisis guru Richard Torrenzano, Amy Rosi, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Grace Hightower, Nick and Jackie Drexel, R. Couri Hay, Bettina Zilkha, CeCe Cord, Dr. Suzanne Levine, Cindy Webster with Jason Grant, who is busy directing a new play called Last Laugh, set to open off-Broadway (at TSI on Eighth Avenue) in March, Felicia Taylor and Dylan Brown, Elite model Heidi Albertsen, pearly whites maestro Dr. James Eisdorfer, Paul and Jo Hallingby, Linda Buckley, Kimberly Nesbit, Newsweek’s James Wellford with Bubble Lounge directrice Emmanuelle Chiche, Jonathan and Somers Farkas, dress designer Kim Hicks, House and Garden’s Laine McRaney with Richard Siklos, David and Lisa Schiff, Tom Gates and Mitch Douglas, Montgomery Frazier and Elizabeth Maas.

I learned a lot about animals from my new friends at the Wildlife Conservation Society, whose mission is to save wildlife and wild lands through science, international conservation and education.

To that end, they have many projects including managing the aquarium and four zoos of New York City, supporting research on all recognized gorilla species in Africa, and maintaining programs of captive breeding for endangered animals such as the black rhino and the Arabian Oryx.

This spring they will break ground for Tiger Mountain, a tiger habitat and educational center at the Bronx Zoo. WCS is a cause worthy of support.

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