MFA's Free to Be Celebrations: Tremendous Success in New York and Los Angeles!
On June 8 in Los Angeles and June 22 in New York, Mercy For Animals celebrated spectacular evenings for our bicoastal summer soiree, Free to Be: A Night for the Animals, honoring Sam Simon and Jane Velez-Mitchell.

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Hosted by James Costa and Susan Atherton in Hollywood, and John Bradham in the Hamptons, the events celebrated MFA's important mission and the passion, dedication, and leadership of our honorees. Our gracious hosts once again opened the doors of their incredibly stunning homes to MFA for our guests to mingle amongst the stars!

Attendees from the entertainment, business, and philanthropic communities sipped champagne while treated to exquisite vegan hors d'oeuvres by Gardein featuring Treeline Treenut Cheese and decadent desserts by Stella's Best and Chef AJ in Los Angeles, and Vegan Treats Bakery in New York. Guests enjoyed delicious, organic vegan wines provided by The Vegan Vine.

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In Los Angeles, the legendary Bob Barker presented The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon with MFA's Compassionate Leadership Award, honoring Sam for his devotion to farmed animals and tireless animal advocacy efforts, including the Sam Simon Foundation, which works to save the lives of dogs in order to enrich the lives of people. We are proud to honor Sam's leadership and accomplishments, incredible dedication, and tremendous support of MFA.

In New York, NBA champion John Salley presented CNN television journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell with the Compassionate Leadership Award, honoring Jane for her outstanding passion for animals and commitment to using her career influence to inspire millions to make compassionate choices in their lives. We are thrilled to honor Jane for her remarkable passion and dedicated, longtime support of MFA.

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The Compassionate Leadership Award acknowledges visionary leaders who are committed to cultivating compassion for farmed animals in the hearts and minds of millions of people. Sam and Jane join an impressive list of change makers, including 2011 honoree Bob Barker and 2012 honorees Russell Simmons and Emily Deschanel.

Artist and sculptor Steve Worthington handcrafted the beautiful bronze and golden award plaques for Sam and Jane. Many thanks to Steve for creating another stunning piece for each of our honorees again this year!

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In Hollywood, additional celebrity guests who strutted their stuff for farmed animals on the "MFA-blue" carpet included Drew Carey, Tony Kanal, Moby, Fiona Gubelmann, Jennifer Tilly, Carol Leifer, Alexandra Paul, Rory Freedman, Lou Wegner, Daphne Wayans, Simone Reyes, Dr. Jenn Berman, and Seba Johnson.

 

Silent auction items featured in Los Angeles and New York included stunning framed photography by Host Committee member Susan Weingartner, exquisite jewelry from the Michael Taylor collection, a gift certificate for a weekend at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, a watch package from Host Committee member Gene Stone (including a stainless steel Hamilton Valiant watch), a gift certificate for a pair of fabulous luxury vegan shoes by Rebecca Mink of Mink Shoes, and many other impressive items generously donated by leading cruelty-free companies and compassionate individuals.

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Each guest received a beautiful parting gift of Vegan Vine wine glasses, stuffed with delicious vegan coconut milk caramels (Cocomels) by JJ's Sweets.

Thanks to the enormous generosity of our honorees, presenters, guests, and supporters, we raised over $450,000 for MFA's campaigns, programs, and initiatives. A huge thank you to our hosts, sponsors, honorees, presenters, guests, auction donors, and bidders, and new and longtime supporters alike--we are truly grateful.

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If you weren't able to attend either of the Free to Be events, but would like to become an MFA member or support our work, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.
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