LOS ANGELES – The Humane Society of the United States announces that its 2019 To the Rescue! Los Angeles Gala will be held on May 4, 2019. Philanthropist Wallis Annenberg, chairman of the board, CEO and president of the Annenberg Foundation, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Grammy award-nominated pop superstar Kesha will receive the Voice for the Animals Award. Justice William A. Newsom III will be receiving the Humane Legacy Award (posthumous). The evening will be hosted by acclaimed actress, singer, and activist Bellamy Young, with a special performance by singer-songwriter Leona Lewis.

The gala will benefit the Humane Society of the United States Farm Animal Protection team, which leads transformational campaigns to end factory farming and improve farm animal lives.  Funds raised at the gala will support efforts to enact protections like California’s Proposition 12, which passed on last year’s ballot, ushering in the strongest farm animal protection law in the world. Its passage built on protections first passed by voters in 2008 to now ensure that pork, eggs and veal products produced and sold in California come from facilities that do not confine animals in small cages for their entire lives.

Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “We are looking forward to a wonderful evening that will celebrate past and future efforts to change the dynamic for billions of farm animals. We are honored to have Wallis Annenberg and Kesha attending to accept their much-deserved awards. Along with the late Justice William A. Newsom III,  these three outstanding and passionate crusaders exemplify dedication and a lifelong determination to protect animals. We are thrilled to have the dynamic Bellamy Young as our host for the evening, and are looking forward to Leona Lewis’ performance.”

Wallis Annenberg is a visionary who uses philanthropy as a powerful instrument to improve the well-being of people and communities, not only by addressing vexing societal problems, but also by creating new pathways to fulfillment, excellence and success. Her innovative giving ranges from education to arts and culture, from medical research to environmental stewardship, from social justice to animal welfare—always guided by the Annenberg Foundation’s core values of community, diversity and fairness.

Since assuming chairmanship of the Foundation in 2009, Wallis’ muscular philanthropy has impacted more than 2,300 nonprofits and other organizations. She has also funded special projects that expand the boundaries of traditional philanthropy. For example, she created the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, the Universally-Accessible Treehouse in Torrance, and, opening near downtown Los Angeles next year, the Wallis Annenberg Center for Purposeful Aging, which will provide a next-generation community center for seniors. 

She also has poured her lifelong appreciation for the human-animal bond into the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista—a one-of-a-kind destination devoted to facilitating rescue animal adoptions, funding education initiatives and academic research, and providing fun for visitors. As she says, “I’ve tried to focus not just on giving, but on innovating.”

Grammy-nominated superstar Kesha doesn’t allow a prolific music career to stand in the way of her passion for animal activism. Becoming the Humane Society International’s first Global Ambassador in 2011, Kesha has since spoken out on numerous animal protection issues, including cosmetic testing on animals, shark finning, the Canadian seal hunt, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and the inhumane treatment of street dogs. In a series of PSAs that have generated worldwide media coverage and through her huge social media following – 28 million on Facebook, 2 million on Instagram and 3.74 on Twitter and over 1 billion views on VEVO, Kesha has proven to be a powerful voice for the animals.

Acclaimed actress, singer, and activist Bellamy Young will join as our signature host of the evening. Bellamy is best known for her award-winning role as ‘President Mellie Grant’ on the ABC/Shonda Rhimes series Scandal and is a dedicated supporter of the Humane Society of the U.S. Details of Bellamy’s successful career and personal highlights can be learned here

The British singing sensation and passionate humanitarian and animal rights activist, Leona Lewis, has sold over 20 million records worldwide and reached #1 in over 35 countries with her hit single “Bleeding Love.” A vocal powerhouse who is renowned for her vocal range and ability, Leona is a three-time GRAMMY Award nominee,  seven-time BRIT Award nominee, MTV VMA and World Music Award winner and has been nominated for MTV EMAs and Billboard Music Awards. Leona became the first British female solo artist to top the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart in more than 20 years with her debut album Spirit. Leona recently released a duet with Calum Scott “You Are The Reason” in February 2018 which has been certified GOLD in the U.S. 2019 saw Leona’s debut TV series regular role on SONY Crackles ‘The Oath’ executive produced by 50 Cent.

The late Justice Newsom is being honored for his lifelong support of animal protection. The California Courts of Appeal justice was the cofounder of the Mountain Lion Foundation and a leading backer of California’s 1990 ballot measure to ban mountain lion hunting. 

Co-chaired by Gloria Butler and Stacey Kivowitz, the night will feature a gourmet plant-based dinner and auction. 

To the Rescue! Los Angeles Leadership Committee includes:
Lesley Boutros-Ghali, Wayne S. Flick, Jennifer Laue, Alanna Tarkington, Nathan Turner, Jean Marie Webster

Humane Generation Los Angeles Committee includes:
Kimberly Ovitz (chair), Courtney Applebaum, Tessa Benson Tooley, Lauren Brokaw, Jessica de Ruiter, Leslie Durso, Noah Mills, Minnie Mortimer Gaghan, Oren Segal, Nola Singer, Hayden Slater, Fuschia Kate Sumner 

For To the Rescue! LA Gala 2019 tickets visit humanesociety.org/ttrlaregister

This event is produced in partnership with Celebrity Event Planner Liron David of Eventique.

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