The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has announced they will honor two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank and Emmy Award-winning actress Edie Falco at the annual ASPCA Bergh Ball on April 9, 2015, at The Plaza Hotel in New York.

At the black-tie gala – which is now in its 18th year – the ASPCA will present Swank with the ASPCA Compassion Award, and Falco with the ASPCA Voice for Animals Award. Actress Lake Bell and Designer Isaac Mizrahi will co-emcee the event.

“Hilary Swank and Edie Falco have as much compassion as they have talent, and we’re thankful they’ve chosen to dedicate considerable time and energy to help animals in crisis,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “The work they’ve done has helped save and protect countless lives, and the ASPCA is proud to recognize their commitment with these awards.”

The ASPCA Compassion Award recognizes noteworthy individuals in entertainment and the arts who have made outstanding contributions to animal welfare in the United States. Leveraging their creative talents and prominence, these artists have brought attention and action to the plight of vulnerable homeless dogs and cats, helping immeasurably to protect and save their lives.

The ASPCA Voice for Animals Award recognizes influencers, celebrities and entertainers who have leveraged their expertise on behalf of the ASPCA to help animals in crisis. Using traditional and modern media, they have made a remarkable impact on our mission to rescue vulnerable and victimized animals across the country.

The theme of the event is “Pup Art,” and will feature playing cards that showcase photos of dogs and cats from the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City, reproductions of dog and cat portraits by Andy Warhol, licensed by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Posing as jokers in the deck are Bravo’s Andy Cohen, with his dog Wacha, and actor Nathan Lane, with his dog Mabel.

The Bergh Ball is a cornerstone of the ASPCA’s fundraising efforts to directly impact the lives of homeless, abused and neglected animals across the country. Hugh Hildesly from Sotheby’s will host the live auction portion of the evening which will feature several high end items and experiences including a custom Christian Siriano gown, an exclusive dining experience at Jean-Georges restaurants and a private villa in Mustique. Generous support for the 2015 ASPCA Bergh Ball is provided by BlackRock.

The Event Chairpersons for this year’s Bergh Ball are Laura Zambelli Barket, Arriana and Dixon Boardman, Mindy and Tom Fortin, Fredrik G. Gradin, Linda and Benjamin V. Lambert, Jeff Pfeifle, Laura and Frederick Tanne, Kim White and Kurt Wolfgruber. The Associate Chairpersons are Georgina Bloomberg, Allie Rizzo and Scott Sartiano, and Jesse Schuster, and serving as the Associate Vice Chairpersons are Lance Bass, Lake Bell, Jessica Hart, Amanda K. Ruisi, Mollie Ruprecht, Christian Siriano and Brad Walsh.

For nearly 150 years, the ASPCA has made groundbreaking strides protecting the lives of vulnerable and victimized animals across the country. Through adoptions, animal health services, community outreach, field investigations, and legislative work, the ASPCA has helped countless animals live safer, healthier and happier lives.

Actress/Producer Hilary Swank is a versatile artist whose most recent film include ‘The Homesman," directed by and co-starring Tommy Lee Jones, and starring in and producing "You’re Not You." Her other credits include “Million Dollar Baby,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Amelia,” “P.S. I Love You,” and “Freedom Writers,” among others. A passionate animal welfare advocate, Swank recently executive produced and co-hosted “Fox’s Cause For Pause: An All-Star Dog Spectacular.” This one-of-a-kind event raised awareness and funds for rescue organizations and local charities throughout the U.S. Swank’s own charity, The Hilaroo Foundation, brings together disadvantaged youth and abandoned animals with the goal of rehabilitating each, promoting both responsibility and adoption.

Actress Edie Falco is the only actress to win Emmy Awards in both the drama and comedy categories, for her roles in “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie,” and one of only four women to have won a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in the same year. An award-winning stage actress, Falco commits much of her time to animal welfare and rescue causes. Her dedication includes participation in Animal Planet and PBS television programs focusing on animal welfare, as well as public awareness campaigns for PETA in 2013 and for the ASPCA in 2015. Falco also sits on the Board of Advisors of Neighborhood Cats, an organization formed in 1999 that promotes trap-neuter-return (“TNR”) approaches to address feral cat overpopulation in New York City.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501©(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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