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National Aviary hosts Night in the Tropics

| Sunday, July 18, 2010

How apropos that temps spiked to a sweltering 90-plus degrees on Saturday for the National Aviary's Night in the Tropics, where five minutes spent outside in the tented parking lot carried the ambiance of the Amazon jungle.

"I'm about to roll up," mused Larry Leahy, reconsidering his wardrobe choice of long sleeves.

This is one of those parties where every year we run into a new flock of fresh faces; no big surprise considering that there's no shortage of word-of-mouth being spread among the up-and-comers that this is one of the places to go to satisfy your sweet-tooth craving with a little bit of eye candy.

At least for some of us.

"Well, my boyfriend is here," laughed Laura King as her plus-one arrived.

"Perfect timing for him to walk up to us," mused Cary Boyd.

Braving the sweltering sun, Kathy and Dale Charochak, Christie Knott, Daniel and Kathy Deis, Jim and Kathy Lehman, John and Suzanne Graf, and Susan and Tom Schmidt managed not to melt while they did their fair share of mixing and mingling, although more than a few of us went screaming indoors to find a chilled cocktail to dive into.

Seeking refuge in the A/C, we noshed our way through the endless libations that were calling our name before heading toward the rainbow lorikeet cage, where we found chair Jane Dixon accessorized in feathered friends thanks to a cup full of nectar she held in her hand.

"They didn't even mess up your hair!" laughed her husband, Michael, as one perched on top of her head.

Elsewhere, artist Ashley Hodder was busy creating an avian-inspired mural that just so happened to be perched right in front of the Dozen cupcake table, filled with a rainbow of mini-temptations that we didn't even attempt to resist. Finally pulling ourselves away, we bumped into board chair Michael Flinn and NA director Pat Angus on our way to the African penguin pool (No, we didn't jump in. Yes, we were tempted).

By night's end, close to 700 had flown the coop to the tune of $40K.

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