THE 2016 MERCY FOR ANIMALS HIDDEN HEROES GALA TOPS EVERY SUMMER EVENT
September 11, 2016
The Mercy For Animals Hidden Heroes Gala was the fundraising and networking event of the summer, not to mention, ridiculously inspirational! Oh, and totally Gorgeous! MFA classily smashed its 1 million dollar goal, while honoring Kevin Lahey with the Compassionate Courage Award, Ari Nessel with the Compassionate Leadership Award, and the stunning “Sarah” with the Hidden Hero Award, for truly changing perspectives and bettering the lives of others through truth.
MFA Founder and President Nathan Runkle provided the Gala motivation when he spoke, “We are all fortunate enough to be born human, to have free will, to have voices, and I want everyone in this room to redouble their efforts. To commit to help animals like these, to not waste our opportunity, our fleeting time on this planet, to make it a better place, because we have that power.” I barely made it through my barbecue smoked tofu with beluga lentils, swiss chard atop a red wine truffle nage, every sentence from Nathan and Ari deserved applause. I did however, manage to make it through my wine, plus dessert, even amidst the standing ovations.
Ari Nessel provided inspiration further, “there are heroes all around us, in this room and outside of this room, who know what is going on, and take it so seriously, their power." Ari has the kind of voice that you know that you have to listen to, it’s sharp, urgent and strong, it lets you follow along, but it almost feels too big for you to keep up with Every monumental sentence that he speaks. Ari, thanked the heroes, “who don’t have apathy, don’t have indifference, and know their capacity for goodness and use all of the privileges they have to make a difference”, and the guests thanked back with donations, bids at the silent auction and respect.
Money raised goes to support the training of undercover investigators, and to support undercover investigators while they are on assignment for months at at a time. Having an opportunity to publicly honor these individuals, who do so much of their work in silence, was extremely humbling.
The speeches took place under the high cathedral ceilings of Los Angeles' elegant Vibiana’s main hall, drenched in warm light and filled with eager ears. Guests munched on the all vegan three course dinner and enjoyed the line-up of celebrity appearances, which started with the VIP reception in the garden courtyard and ended with a silent disco after party under an airy canopy of twinkling, strung white lights.
Enough words, check out some event photos and the official MFAs post on the event :0 <3
Painting by artist Al Jackson being auctioned in the silent auction
So proud to be able to even stand next to Nathan Runkle
With one of my heroes! Mikael Roldsgaard
Silent disco after party, ya, it was awesome ;)