The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) honored Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and the late Christina Grimmie on April 22 at its annual To the Rescue! Los Angeles Gala benefit at Paramount Studios.
The evening broke the HSUS Los Angeles Gala fundraising record, raising more than $1.4M for the organization’s Farm Animal Protection campaign, with the help of Pharrell’s impromptu fundraising efforts during his performance.
Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Wayne Pacelle welcomed the crowd. Actress Elizabeth Banks presented Sen. Booker with his award, while Grimmie’s award was presented to her family by singer Rachel Platten, who also performed a moving musical tribute. Noah Cyrus and Pharrell Williams also performed.
Additional guests included Alana Stewart (Actress), Ashley Olsen (Actress/Designer), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Bonnie-Jill Laflin (Model), Daisy Fuentes (Model, TV Host), Daniella Monet (Victorious), David Ryu (LA City Councilmember), Diane Keaton (Actress), Diane Warren (Musician), Elaine Hendrix (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll), Fuschia Kate Sumner (Actress), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Hal Sparks (TV Personality), Harley Quinn Smith (Clerks II), Henry Stern (CA State Senator), Jaime King (Actress), James Caan (Elf), Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night), Kimberly Ovitz (Fashion Designer), Laura Vandervoort (Bitten), Melanie Griffith (Actress), Moby (Musician), Nigel Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance), Richard Marx (Musician), Rooney Mara (Carol), Sebastian Roche (The Originals), Tia Blanco (pro surfer), and more also attended.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour and a gourmet vegan dinner, followed by a live auction and evening program.
The HSUS honored Sen. Booker with its Humanitarian of the Year Award for his stalwart dedication to animal protection, the advancement of animal welfare laws and for sponsoring humane legislation.
“I’m humbled to receive the Humanitarian of the Year award from The Humane Society of the United States,” said Booker. “HSUS is working every day to end animal cruelty, and I’ve been proud to stand with them. No living creature is so insignificant as to not be worthy of our kindness and compassion. I’m energized by the progress we’ve already made, and I look forward to continuing to work on animal welfare issues in the United States Senate in the years to come.”
Grimmie’s family accepted the organization’s Impact Award on the late star’s behalf for her devotion to protecting animals. Grimmie’s fans were moved by her incredible talent, enormous heart and call for mercy toward animals who suffer.
Giving a voice to farm animals, The HSUS is leading improvements in farm welfare by working with the food industry to eliminate the worst abuses of farm animals in their supply chains. The HSUS also advances policies to improve the treatment of farm animals and is working with more than 3,000 food service professionals at large institutions to implement popular meat reduction programs like Meatless Monday. The HSUS works with more than 100 major food retailers to eliminate the confinement of hens, pigs and calves in cages.