Wildlife Wonders – A Night of Hope & Conservation

Wildlife Wonders – A Night of Hope & Conservation

Welcome to an enchanting evening where passion meets purpose and the spirit of conservation comes alive. “Wildlife Wonders: A Night of Hope & Conservation” is the inaugural gala fundraising event dedicated to supporting the Toucan Rescue Ranch, an organization committed to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of Costa Rica’s magnificent wildlife. This marks the first time the Toucan Rescue Ranch is hosting a fundraising event in the United States, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of this remarkable organization.


Date & Venue:

Join us on April 25, 2024, at the Nashville Zoo in Nashville, Tennessee, a haven of wildlife and charm. The nature-focused surroundings and ambient setting will create the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable night dedicated to preserving our planet’s extraordinary creatures. Dinner and dessert are included in your ticket purchase! 


Wildlife Wonders Theme:

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and rich biodiversity of Costa Rica. The event’s theme celebrates the wonders of wildlife, bringing to life the unique flora and fauna that the Toucan Rescue Ranch works tirelessly to protect.

Event Program & Speakers:

Toucan Rescue Ranch Founder’s Address:

Join us as Leslie Howle, the Founder of the Toucan Rescue Ranch, takes the stage to share the inspiring journey of the organization. Learn about the challenges faced, victories achieved, and the vision for the future in Costa Rica’s wildlife conservation.

Nashville Zoo Conservation Efforts with Zoo Director:

Nashville Zoo Director Rick Schwartz will illuminate the crowd with insights into the remarkable conservation work carried out by the Nashville Zoo. Discover the collaborative efforts of the Nashville Zoo and its mission to protect iconic wildlife worldwide.

Keynote Speaker – Joan Embery: TV personality, Conservationist, Board Member 

We are honored to welcome Joan Embery, Conservationist, TV personality, and Toucan Rescue Ranch board member, as our keynote speaker. Join us as Joan shares her insights into the importance of wildlife conservation and her experiences working with the Toucan Rescue Ranch. Her passion for wildlife and dedication to conservation efforts are truly inspiring.


Keynote Speaker – Dr. Oakley: Veterinarian, National Geographic TV Host:

Prepare to be captivated by our keynote speaker, Dr. Oakley. As a renowned veterinarian and National Geographic TV host, Dr. Oakley will share insights into the critical role of veterinary medicine in wildlife conservation. Learn about the groundbreaking medical program that supports the well-being of animals in their natural habitats.

Documentary Showings/Premiers

Intertwined throughout the evening with captivating documentary showings and premieres that provide an in-depth look into the incredible work of the Toucan Rescue Ranch. Explore the challenges, triumphs, and heartwarming stories of the rescued animals on their journey to rehabilitation and release.

Event Activities & What’s Included with Your Ticket Purchase:

Buffet Dinner of Culinary Delights: A Feast for the Senses

As part of our gala experience, we’re excited to present a sumptuous, meticulously crafted buffet dinner to delight your taste buds and elevate your dining experience.

Main Course:

  • Braised Beef Short Ribs (gf): Succulent short ribs braised to perfection and served with a rich red wine demi glaze, offering a symphony of flavors with every tender bite.
  • Cheese Tortellini (v): Indulge in the comforting warmth of cheese-filled tortellini, dressed in a decadent brown butter sauce, and topped with sage and toasted pine nuts for an unforgettable vegetarian delight.

Fresh Starters:

  • Classic Caesar Salad (v): Crisp romaine lettuce tossed with garlic croutons, shaved asiago cheese, and classic Caesar dressing, providing a refreshing and flavorful prelude to your meal.

Sides to Savor:

  • White Cheddar Grits (gf, v): Creamy and savory, our white cheddar grits offer a delightful twist on a Southern favorite, complementing any main course with their comforting texture and bold flavor.
  • Seasonal Roasted Vegetables (gf, v): Bursting with vibrant colors and robust flavors, our seasonal roasted vegetables showcase the best of nature’s bounty, providing a wholesome and satisfying accompaniment to your meal.

Interactive Sponsorship Opportunities:

Explore and participate in interactive sponsorship opportunities to fund programs at the Toucan Rescue Ranch that save over 500+ injured animals annually. Contribute to initiatives such as “Saving Sloths Together,” “Saving Howler Monkeys Together,” the “WildMed Fund,” and more. Your sponsorship directly impacts the success of these vital programs.

Cocktails at the Gibbon Island Wildlife Exhibit:

Start the evening with crafted cocktails at the Gibbon Island wildlife exhibit, surrounded by the sounds and sights of these remarkable creatures. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while mingling with fellow conservation enthusiasts. This is a cash bar with a specialty drink called the Blue Toucan – this is a cash bar!

The Blue Toucan: Transport yourself to paradise with our signature cocktail, blending Pineapple Rum, Blue Curacao, and Mojito for a refreshing and tropical sensation.

The Virgin Blue Toucan: For a non-alcoholic option, enjoy the vibrant flavors of Mojito Mix, pineapple juice, and blue Powerade, creating a refreshing mocktail perfect for sipping and savoring.

Live Entertainment – Acoustic Performance by Ben Danaher:

During cocktail hour, Immerse yourself in the heart of Nashville, the music capital, with a soulful acoustic performance by local artist Ben Danaher. Let the enchanting melodies highlight the unique charm of this vibrant city.

Auction for a Cause:

Participate in an exclusive auction featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences, exotic getaways, and unique memorabilia. Your bids will directly contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts of the Toucan Rescue Ranch.

Adopt-a-Animal Program:

Support the cause by participating in the Adopt-a-Animal program, allowing guests to symbolically adopt a rescued animal and contribute to its care and rehabilitation.

Dessert by the Carousel:

Conclude the night with a sweet touch – indulge in delectable desserts by the carousel. Allow the magic of the carousel to create a whimsical atmosphere as you enjoy delightful treats to end the evening on a high note.

Sweet Endings with Strawberry Shortcake: Indulge your sweet tooth with our decadent strawberry shortcake, featuring luscious layers of cake, fresh strawberries, raspberry sauce, and billowy whipped cream, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite.

Dress Code:

Elegance meets the wild! Embrace the theme by donning your most stylish semi-formal attire with a touch of wildlife-inspired flair.


Tickets for this extraordinary night are $100 per person or $1,500 per table, seating ten people. All proceeds go directly to the Toucan Rescue Ranch. Secure your spot now for a night that promises glamour and entertainment and a lasting impact on the future of wildlife conservation.

Fundraising Goal:

Help us reach our inaugural fundraising goal of $100,000, supporting the Toucan Rescue Ranch’s mission to provide a second chance for wildlife in need during their 20th-anniversary year.

Join us for “Wildlife Wonders: A Night of Hope & Conservation” as we celebrate the wonders of wildlife, music, and community. Let’s make a difference for the incredible wildlife gracing our planet.


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