Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor and director Ricky Gervais will be awarded the Humane Society International Cecil Award at the “To the Rescue!” Gala in New York held by its U.S affiliate the Humane Society of the United States on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

The Cecil Award is being awarded to Ricky in recognition of his global advocacy against trophy hunting. Gervais has been vociferous in his opposition to this cruel blood sport for many years.

Three years ago, he led the global outcry against the brutal, illegal killing by an American trophy hunter of Cecil, a majestic, iconic male lion.

By speaking out in the media and to his millions of fans on social media, Gervais raised tremendous global consciousness and outrage against horrific trophy hunting. He continues to lead this fight, passionately lending his voice to imperiled wildlife killed for trophies and bragging rights.

Gervais recently summed up his animal advocacy when he said, “I speak for animals because they don’t have a voice.”  He has used his voice to speak out against the most egregious animal abuse and cruelty around the world and has generously supported the animal protection work of Humane Society International for many years. He is also a staunch advocate for dog adoption, and has helped raise international awareness of other critical issues including the fur trade, cosmetic animal testing, the international dog meat trade, animals in entertainment, bullfighting and trophy hunting.

“When I think of those who have effectively used their platform to speak out on behalf of animals, Ricky Gervais is at the top of the list,” says Kitty Block acting president and CEO of HSUS. “He doesn’t shy away from calling out cruelty in its most entrenched forms, and I cannot think of a better example of this than after the killing of Cecil.”

Regarding the award, Gervais said, “I am honored to be recognized by Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States and stand by their fight to protect all animals. Animals should never suffer, especially at the hands of a trophy hunter.”

The gala, which supports the rescue, care, placement and potential rehoming of thousands of animals every year, will take place at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. 

Guests will enjoy a plant-based dinner created by Chef Chloe Coscarelli, a live auction, entertainment and a special appearance by the Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team. This year’s gala will be chaired by Georgina Bloomberg and hosted by Tony award-winning actress and singer Sutton Foster.

The 2018 Leadership Committee includes: Ian Bass, Wendy and Howard Berk, Yolanda Berkowitz, Gale Epstein, Jennifer Faga, Linda Goddard, Cathy Kangas, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Jennifer Laue, Mary and Peter Max, Jennifer McCausland, Patrick McDonnell and Karen O'Connell, Judy Ney, Christine and Edwin Ordway, Lida Orzeck, Debra Shore and Marisol Thomas.         

The Humane Generation Executive Committee includes:

Executive Committee: Georgina Bloomberg (Chair), Anthony Cummings, Liz Dee, Michael Katz, Stephen Read, Breanna Schultz, Courtney Stroum Meagher and Katie Sturino.

The Humane Generation Advisory Committee includes:

Lauren Ackerman, Stephanie Riggio Bulger, Molly Fahner Calhoun, Liz Friedland, Stella Keitel, Dylan Lauren, Lauren Schweibold, Hilary Sloan and Kelly Vitko

For tickets to the To the Rescue! NY Gala 2018 visit humanesociety.org/totherescueny.     

Through advocacy campaigns and hands on care, the Humane Society of the United States and its  affiliate Humane Society International protect, rehabilitate and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, deploying responders across the country and the world to help animals in need, including animals suffering in puppy mills, dogfighting rings, large scale-neglect cases and natural disasters. The organizations’ advocacy programs work to prevent cruelty from occurring in the first place.

For photos, please click here.

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