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October 7, 2008

Making History Under the Stars

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi hosted a fabulous fundraiser to raise money for the Yes! on Prop 2 campaign

The Humane Society of the United States

The stars shone brightly at the Bel Air estate of John Winfield on September 28 when Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi hosted more than 400 supporters of Proposition 2, a popular reform on the November 2008 California ballot to phase out the most extreme confinement and abuse of animals on factory farms statewide.

The guests were welcomed by The Humane Society of the United States's president Wayne Pacelle, who later in the evening emceed a successful auction which raised funds to support the YES! on Prop 2 campaign committee's television advertising efforts, which began airing today.

Upon their arrival, celebrities and other notable guests worked the green carpet, speaking with dozens of press representatives and photographers about their reasons for supporting Prop 2. House stars Lisa Edelstein and Olivia Wilde espoused the potential of the measure to improve animal and human health, while actress and star of TV's popular "Bones" series Emily Deschanel told Ecorazzi that Prop 2, "[is] a no-brainer for people's health, for the environment and for the humane treatment of these animals."

Ellen told Fox LA, "We love animals and we don't want to see them treated inhumanely. You would never think to put an animal in a confined area where it could not move at all. And yet we're going to do that to a cow, a pig, a chicken?"

Other celebrities in attendance included actors Tobey Maguire, Jared Leto, Heather Graham, James Cromwell, Catherine Oxenberg, Corey Feldman, Amy Smart, Matt Grant, Amber Tamblyn, Kelly Lynch, Esai Morales, Wendie Malick; authors Arianna Huffington, Rory Freedman, and Kathy Freston, and business leaders like Winfield, Dr. Gary Michelson, and others.

A glowing Constance Marie told reporters that, "Prop 2 is a baby step toward creating more humane conditions for animals."

After dinner, stirring Prop 2 speeches were delivered by state schools chief Jack O'Connell, United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez, state senator Dean Florez, and The Humane Society's Pacelle. Comedians Hal Sparks and Carol Leifer led a successful auction of such items as an all-expense paid trip to the Canadian harp seal nursery, an original painting by MUTTS cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, a walk-on role in the next Richard Donner movie, and an art and studio package with famed artist Peter Max.

Gala guests were treated to a selection of wonderful wines courtesy of Tolosa Winery and also Black Eagle Wines produced under Prop 2 endorser United Farm Workers contracts guaranteeing decent pay, full benefits and protections for wine grape and all farm workers. Following the dinner catered by Madeleine Bistro, guests enjoyed performances by the legendary Carole King, who charmed with a Prop 2 inspired variation of her famous "You've Got a Friend" and by Moby, whose music prompted guests to dance in the aisles.

The event was a huge success—both in raising much-needed funds for Prop 2 and also in raising awareness about the importance of voting YES! on Prop 2 this Election Day. For a great wrap-up video of the night's festivities, check out Lizza Monet Morales' fine report for OC TV here.

Other coverage of the celebrity-studded gala:

Access Hollywood

Perez Hilton

LA Times Blog

Entertainment Tonight

The Insider

To see photos from the event click here.

Click here to see more celebrity support of Proposition 2.

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