May 25, 2011
Friends of Finn: A Fashionable Fete for Animal Rescue
To the Rescue! Gala kicks off in style
by Heather Sullivan
Many of New York’s most charitable young people joined hosts Amanda Hearst, Georgina Bloomberg, and Annie Churchill Albert at Stella McCartney’s flagship store on May 19 for a kick-off event for the 2011 To the Rescue! From Cruelty to Kindness Gala.
The Gala will take place on Oct. 5 at Cipriani in New York City, where guests will enjoy dinner, entertainment, and a live auction to help The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team continue to crisscross the country, saving thousands of animal lives.
As guests shopped, admired pictures of the hosts' adorable pups, and sipped on strawberry rhubarb Bellinis, they learned about the work of The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team, including rescuing dogs from puppy mills.
Hearst, Bloomberg, and Albert are all members of the group Friends of Finn, which is dedicated to an ongoing tri-state public education, awareness, and information program on why, how, and where to get non-puppy mill dogs.
A personal cause
"This is personal for me," said Hearst. "I founded Friends of Finn for my dog, Finn. He came from a puppy mill. I didn’t know. I wasn’t aware of the issue. I am confident that Friends of Finn can make a difference for dogs through raising money and awareness."
During a short presentation, guests watched a video shot when Hearst accompanied The Animal Rescue Team to Mississippi on a puppy mill rescue. While the piece begins with the horrific images of abused dogs endemic to puppy mills, it has an upbeat ending: Hearst and other members of Friends of Finn pledge to stand with The HSUS to end the cycle of abuse.
"I have always had a special compassion for animals; they don’t have the ability to help themselves, and I want to help make a difference with The HSUS," said Churchill Albert. "The HSUS is the most hands on charity I have ever worked with. They have made [The Friends of Finn members] feel so welcome, it is a pleasure to do this for The HSUS; it is fun and rewarding, never a chore."
Proceeds from the To The Rescue! Gala will help save thousands more lives in the coming years from the cruelty of puppy mills, animal fighting operations, hoarding and neglect cases, and more.
Bloomberg stated, "I wanted to be here to support this great cause. I am a huge animal lover, and I want to stand up and fight for them. As I get older, I realize how important it is to be involved."
Heather Sullivan is director of public relations for The Humane Society of the United States.