Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for the opportunity to have attended the Mercy For Animals 15th Anniversary Gala at The London West Hollywood this past Saturday evening. It was a star-studded gala including guests: Moby, Drew Carey, Sam Simon, Russell Simmons, Pamela Anderson, Leona Lewis, Emily Deschanel and many more. It was fun for a Midwestern gal like me to mix and mingle amongst such talented artists who share the same passions as I do. Whats even cooler is that Mercy For Animals raised over 1 million dollars for the hard work they do to save farm animals from abuse and neglect!
Me with Alisha Kettner of Amour de la Terre
The night kicked off with cocktails around the pool. This was the perfect opportunity to get some power networking done. The first person I spoke with was Al Jackson, a talented artist from Palm Springs, who’s work was featured at the gala.
Jennifer Tilly with Al Jackson
As we made our way around the space, I found myself being introduced to Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons. It wasn’t until recently that I learned of Mr. Simon’s condition; he has been diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and is generously donating much of his fortune to rescue animals from pain and suffering. Simon also produced and directed The Drew Carey Show.
It makes sense that he brought Drew along as one of his guests to the Mercy for Animals Gala. As Drew turned around, I quickly introduced myself and asked him if he remembered meeting me. He, of course, looked puzzled. I had been a contestant on The Price Is Right in 2012 and Drew and I chatted about quinoa and, ironically, eating a plant-based diet when I was at CBS studios. Turns out Mr. Carey did not remember me, but we bantered about the show and I met his (much younger) girlfriend. It was a fun exchange.
After an hour or so of networking, taking photos and sipping on Champagne, we were led to the adjacent part of The London roof; where we indulged in wine from Vegan Vines and enjoyed a plated dinner compliments of Gardein.
The true heroes of the evening were the undercover investigators for Mercy for Animals who literally risk their lives to do the work they do. Typically, when I am involved with a cause, I like to actually get involved and not just donate money, that’s easy to do. However, when it comes to the work that the Mercy for Animals under cover investigators have to do, I actually couldn’t do it. So my checkbook suddenly jumped open after seeing some videos of the undercover investigations they have completed and the positive change for animal welfare that was a result.
One of my favorite conversations of the evening happened after dinner with Moby. For those of you who are not familiar with Moby, he is a talented artist, animal activist and musician. I grew up listening to his music and it was so rad to have the chance to talk with him about animal advocacy and about Daiya Cheese. Yes, I had to go there. I am in sales after-all! Moby likes to eat at Cruzer Pizza in LA, an all vegan pizza joint that carries Daiya cheese.
Here’s to paying it forward one meal and purchase at a time. I am living a life with purpose and I am both humbled and honored to support Mercy For Animals and the incredible work they do. For more pictures from the gala, click here.