New Orleans,
11:29 AM

New Orleans Pelicans Host Toast for the Coast Gala at Audubon Zoo to Support Wetlands Education

March 18, 2017, in the Louisiana Swamp at Audubon Zoo


Guests will join Pelicans players and coaches to support the team's wetlands education partnership with Audubon Nature Institute and enjoy an unforgettable evening with cocktails and delicious cuisine, live entertainment and an incredible auction.

The New Orleans Pelicans will host the annual Toast for the Coast gala to support its wetlands education partnership with Audubon Nature Institute on Saturday, March 18, 2017 in the Louisiana Swamp at Audubon Zoo.

Guests will join Pelicans players and coaches for an unforgettable evening with cocktails and delicious cuisine, live entertainment and an incredible auction.

Auction packages include a road trip with the Pelicans’ team, autographed jerseys from NBA stars like Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, a five-night Caribbean cruise and a private cocktail party at the Zoo’s elephant pavilion.

Proceeds from the event support coastal wetland programs designed to encourage the community to work together to preserve fragile Gulf Coast wetlands, which is home to thousands of native species, including the brown pelican.

Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman
“Louisiana loses more than 25 square miles of wetlands each year and at the current rate about 640,000 more acres – an area the size of Rhode Island – will be under water by 2050. Through our partnership with the New Orleans Pelicans, Audubon educators are committed to keeping a spotlight on this dilemma by teaching locals and visitors of all ages about wetlands loss and how everyone can help.’’
Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman

Throughout the year, the Pelicans sponsor programs and initiatives that enrich Gulf South schools and communities by promoting literacy and leadership, advocating healthy lifestyles and working to increase awareness about coastal wetlands.

Over the last three years, the Pelicans and Audubon have partnered to expand education outreach about coastal preservation through the Wetland Express, an outreach vehicle that visits schools, libraries, hospitals and festivals.

In addition, the Pelicans joined with Audubon in 2016 to open the Pelicans’ Nest in the Zoo’s Louisiana Swamp where guests can participate in hands-on learning about Gulf Coast wetlands and see wetland animals up-close.

Also last year, the Pelicans and Audubon teamed up with award-wining Louisiana children’s book author Johnette Downing and illustrator Heather Stanley to encourage reading and connect children with the beauty and importance of Louisiana’s wetlands though their new book, Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh.

"The most important aspect of our partnership with Audubon Nature Institute is educating our local youth on the importance of coastal restoration and actions they can take now, and in the future, to make sure our coast is thriving for generations to come. We’re excited to invite our fans to Toast for the Coast not only to support the future of our city and region, but to spend time with our players and coaches and have the opportunity to interact with them.”

Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints/Pelicans Owner

Toast for the Coast is sponsored in part by the Cox Communications, Chevron and Fox Sports New Orleans.

General admission tickets are $100 for the gala that begins at 8 p.m. in the Zoo’s Louisiana Swamp Exhibit. Discounted gala tickets for Audubon Nature Institute members and Pelicans’ season ticket holders are $75.

Patron tickets are $500 for two tickets and include early admission to the Patron Party that begins at 6:30 p.m. Patrons have exclusive access to the live auction and receive a signature gift from the Pelicans.

The dress code for the evening is dressy casual attire. To purchase tickets, click here or call (504) 861-5107.

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.