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September 27, 2011

To the Rescue! From Cruelty to Kindness Gala to Benefit The HSUS Animal Rescue Team

Gala will honor Today Show’s Jill Rappaport and Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker

On Oct. 5, The Humane Society of the United States presents To the Rescue! From Cruelty to Kindness Gala at Cipriani in New York City. The event, hosted by Will Estes (Blue Bloods), is co-chaired by the Friends of Finn committee headed by Amanda Hearst, Georgina Bloomberg and Annie Churchill, and will honor NBC’s Jill Rappaport and Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker.

Voice for the Animals Honoree: Jill Rappaport

jill rappaport

Linda Solomon

NBC’s TODAY show's Jill Rappaport will be the first recipient of the Voice for the Animals award for her efforts both on and off screen.

Rappaport keeps viewers informed about issues affecting companion animals in her TODAY show reports and popular “Bow to Wow” segment, while her compassionate behind-the-scenes animal rescue work has included saving hundreds of severely abused horses.

Jill’s life and career changed forever when her beloved dog Jack was diagnosed with bone cancer several years ago. While chronicling Jack’s illness on the TODAY show, she realized that animal welfare issues were her calling. In 2010, Jill and TODAY received The Humane Society of the United States’ coveted Genesis Award—the Oscars of the animal world—for her reporting on animal issues, and she was recently named Good Will Equine Welfare Ambassador for the ASPCA. Her Jack & Jill Fund educates pet owners about animal cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Humane Public Servant Honoree: Cory A. Booker

cory booker

Cory A. Booker

A long-time animal advocate and vegetarian, The Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, N.J., will receive the Humane Public Servant award.

Booker has worked tirelessly to establish a state-of-the-art animal shelter in Newark.

His mission gained momentum when he learned about Patrick, a starving, young pit bull found inside a trash bag. Inspired by Patrick, Booker posted a “birthday wish” on Huffington Post that readers would join the cause of spreading awareness of Patrick’s story and of the larger issue of animal abuse.

Booker also hopes to contribute toward the construction of “Patrick’s Place,” the animal shelter that he hopes to build “so that Newark will be known as a city that cares not only about its people, but its animals, too.”

“We are grateful to Jill Rappaport and Mayor Booker for their important public roles in advocating for animal protection,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “They are public figures who use the platforms they have to raise awareness and drive reforms that benefit animals and the people who care about them.”

An affair to remember

Each year The HSUS’ annual gala gathers social, business, entertainment and political leaders to support one cause vital to animal welfare in the United States.

will estes

Blue Bloods star Will Estes will host the gala.

This year’s “To the Rescue!” theme is particularly timely as The HSUS Animal Rescue Team has spent recent months being deployed to multiple communities stricken by natural disasters across the nation, including those affected by Hurricane Irene, while also assisting law enforcement officials with puppy mill raids, hoarding situations and animal fighting investigations.

To The Rescue! From Cruelty to Kindness Gala is co-presented by Friends of Finn, a dedicated group of New Yorkers committed to helping animals.

Founded and chaired by Amanda Hearst, the committee is named after Amanda’s dog, Finn. After helping to raise $1 million for The HSUS’s campaign to stop puppy mills at last year’s gala, Friends of Finn is thrilled to support this special opportunity to promote the life-saving work of The HSUS Animal Rescue Team.

tal ronnen

Chef Tal Ronnen will serve a vegan, gourmet, four-course meal at the event. Matthew Prescott

The committee that makes up Friends of Finn includes: Amanda Hearst (Chair), Andrew Albert, Fabiola Beracasa, Georgina Bloomberg, Lorenzo Borghese, Katy Brodsky, Tom Brodsky, Annie Churchill, Samantha Kleier Forbes, Marcelo Gomes, Michael Katz, Kick Kennedy, Dylan Lauren, Moby, Sabrina Kleier Morgenstern, Dalia Oberlander, Kimberly Ovitz and Stephanie Riggio.

The evening will include a four-course gourmet vegan dinner created by celebrity chef Tal Ronnen and Cipriani, as well as a performance by singer/songwriter Tai Burnette.

tai burnette

Singer/songwriter Tai Burnette will perform. Tai Burnette.

HSUS President & CEO Wayne Pacelle, author of The New York Times best-selling book The Bond, will be on hand for the award presentations.

Moroccanoil, the maker of luxury argan oil-infused hair care products that are not tested on animals, is sponsoring the event to help aid in the efforts to prevent, protect and rescue suffering animals.

To the Rescue! From Cruelty to Kindness Gala is made possible by our additional sponsors: Hearst Corporation, Interclick, Philips-Van Heusen Corporation, and American Dog Rescue/Arthur E. Benjamin.

Visit our event detail page for more information on the gala»

For media inquiries, contact Heather Sullivan at 240-477-2251 or hsullivan@humanesociety.org

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