The Real Deal New York

Zoo animals to mingle at SI real estate shindig

December 01, 2011 05:39PM
By Katherine Clarke

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From left: The animals include a coatimundi and a tamandua; guests include Kathleen O’Leary Garbarino, president of the Staten Island Board of Realtors, Laird Klein, committee chairman of the gala, and Georgianna Diaz, president elect of SIBOR

At the Staten Island Board of Realtors‘ holiday party this evening, the borough’s top brokers may bump into some unexpected guests — a coatimundi, which is a member of the raccoon family, and a tamandua, a type of anteater.

This strange turn of events is the result of a partnership between the realtor board and the Staten Island Zoo, the board said, whereby proceeds from the gala will assist with the renovation of the children’s classroom at the local zoo.

“Despite a tough economy, Staten Island’s real estate professionals have continued throughout the year to support local causes in every way possible,” said Laird Klein, committee chairman of the Staten Island Board of Realtors’ Winter Wonderland Holiday Gala.

The gala is one of the first of many holiday parties which may turn to wacky activities to bring out the brokers in droves, Kathy Braddock, co-founder of Rutenberg Realty, told The Real Deal. Rutenberg’s party, she said, will be at Lucky Strike, a bowling alley on West 42nd Street.

“An activity is really the way to go,” she said. “It’s team-building.”

In reference to the zoo animals, she added: “That’s fun. If I could take over the Central Park Zoo for Rutenberg’s party I would, but it’s not within the budget. I’d like to take over a wing of the [Metropolitan Museum of Art] but I’m not Howard Lorber,” she laughed.

Elvis Duran of the Z-100 “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” will also entertain brokers at tonight’s party at the Excelsior Grand Hotel.

The anteater was not immediately available for comment.

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