Optimism and gratitude took over midtown New York City, as The Humane Society of the United States presented its accomplishments and goals at the 10thAnnual To The Rescue! Gala.
The gala, which took place at Cipriani 42ndStreet on Friday, November 15th, welcomed its animal loving guests with an immersive 360 animal rescue experience, and an elegant blue carpet. Notable supporters of the cause included Ariana Rockefeller, Liz Dee, Danny Woodburn, Chloe Coscarelli, and many more.
Kitty Block, CEO of HSUS, shared some ways in which everyone can join the movement for a more humane society, “Every day you can do something good for animals. From the moment you wake up, think about what you eat, think about what you wear. You have fur? Get rid of it. Faux fur is beautiful,” she advised, “When you think about your food choices, try to reduce meat consumption, or [choose] cage free eggs… volunteer at your local shelter, never shop for a dog, always adopt.”
The Humane Society of the United States is a non-profit organization founded in 1954 with the goal of ending animal suffering. With its multiple global affiliates and supporters, the HSUS is on its way to eliminate puppy mills and factory farms, to end animal cosmetic testing, to reform corporate policy, to raise awareness on animal issues, and more. Most recently, the HSUS passed a bill through Congress that was unanimously accepted to put an end to animal torture. Within the next five years, the organization hopes to completely abolish puppy mills.
Star hosts Jerry O’Connell, and Rebecca Romijn commenced the celebration with uplifting anecdotes featuring their adopted house pets. Georgina Bloomberg, Event Chair, gave a heartfelt speech thanking the organizations many sponsors, and recognizing Moroccan Oil as the gala’s top sponsor for the past eight years.
Enjoying a wholesome vegan meal by plant-based chef Eddie Garza, guests watched the night’s honorees accept their awards in a live talk show style. Hosts O’Connel and Romijn announced the award recipients, and interviewed each of them. Unilever, represented by Dr. Julia Fentem, VP Safety and Environmental Assurance, won the Corporate Consciousness Award, being the first corporation to announce support for a global ban on animal testing. The Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust received the Humane Champion Award, and cartoonist and author Patrick McDonnell received the Voice for the Animals Award, for giving voice to animals through his art.
The evening continued with a touching performance by Grammy Award nominated, multiplatinum singer- songwriter Gavin DeGraw, followed by a generous auction offering an animal rescue trip to Costa Rica, a Mutts issue featuring a special pet as a character, a live performance by Rob Thomas, and more.
The after party room featured a rescue themed graffiti installation by David Chino Villorente, and stands of colorful Rebel Dawg custom dog tags, Max & Ruffy’s organic pet treats, and human treats by Dylan’s Candy BarN, the company’s foundation dedicated to supporting animal welfare. Stray Dog cocktails were served, as well as vegan pumpkin pie bites, vegan empanadas, and other irresistible offerings.
The gala, which raised over 2 Million Dollars was sponsored by Moroccan Oil, and was also supported by Humane Generation New York. HSUS is a catalyst of a wider tendency towards animal welfare, with Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s recently committing to ban the sale of fur by the end of 2020. “Great things for animals are coming our way,” Block said.
“Its always wonderful to keep your heart open, and never underestimate the power of the small things you can do, the big things you can do. Say something if you see something that you don’t feel is right, do the research and reach out to HSUS. Everyone can contribute,” Ariana Rockefeller told The Knockturnal. Rockefeller initially got involved with HSUS because of her commitment to equine welfare. Others may get involved because of a beloved pet, and a willingness for greater good. Like Chino wrote in his graffiti installation, “How will you rescue?”