NEW YORK—The Humane Society of the United States’ annual To the Rescue! gala will take place on Nov. 14, 2020 (pre-show at 7:30 p.m. EST, gala at 8:00 p.m. EST). “Saturday Night Live” Emmy nominated cast member Cecily Strong will host the virtual event, which will feature a special performance by Tony, Grammy and Emmy award-winner, singer and actor Audra McDonald, who will also host the pre-show.

The Humane Society of the United States has been in crisis response mode since the first days of the pandemic lockdown, helping vulnerable animals survive and delivering aid to communities where people and pets are struggling. As the nation's biggest force for animal protection, the HSUS has been able to harness the collective power of our expertise, influence, networks and partnerships to mitigate new threats to animals as a result of COVID-19, and our rapid reaction work will continue as long as necessary.  While the organization has mobilized to prevent new suffering, the HSUS has remained laser focused on longstanding causes of animal suffering. To the Rescue! will benefit animal rescue, farm animal protection and ending puppy mills and dog meat farms.

Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “Cecily Strong and Audra McDonald are two incredibly talented, amazing women and we are so grateful to have them involved in our virtual gala. With Cecily and Audra headlining, it will be a wonderful evening.”

Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner, singer and actor Audra McDonald said, “In a time when the world can feel unsteady, the Humane Society of the United States continues to change the world for animals. By adopting my dog Butler and having animal rescues throughout my life, I have seen firsthand how special animals are and I cannot imagine my life without them. We must be a voice for the voiceless and protect those who cannot speak for themselves.”

The gala, virtual for the first time, will feature a 3D environment where guests will be taken through a fantasy setting of flowery meadows, a glamping-style yurt and a backyard barn stage to watch the event.

Georgina Bloomberg is the chair of the gala. The leadership committee includes Susan Atherton, Ian Bass, Wendy and Howard Berk, Gale Epstein, Jennifer Faga, Wayne S. Flick, Allison Friedberg, Kimberly Handler, Gretchen Jelinek, Cathy Kangas, Jennifer Laue, Patrick McDonnell, Karen O’Connell, Sharon Patrick, Terry Rakolta, Debra Shore, Alanna Tarkington and Marisol Thomas.

Purchase tickets for the virtual gala

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