2016 Gala

Farm Sanctuary | 2016 Gala

farmsanctuary_2016gala_honoree-4-up_880x293Farm Sanctuary’s 30th Anniversary Gala brought out the compassion in Angelenos, celebrities and animal advocates from across the region and country-wide to celebrate 30 years of rescue, education and advocacy for farm animals, the largest population of abused animals on Earth. The Gala took place Saturday evening, November 12th at the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles.

Comedian Kevin Nealon hosted the formal 30th Gala fundraiser, supported by Farm Sanctuary co-chairs, Tracey Stewart and Emily Deschanel. United against farm animal cruelty, guests sipped on luxury artisan cocktails from The Grand Bevy featuring stenciled art of celeb supporters, then enjoyed a 100% plant-based dinner, custom designed by Beverly Wilshire in partnership with Gardein Executive Chef Jason Stefanko.

The heartfelt evening included musician, artist and entrepreneur, Kat Von D, accepting the Compassion In Action Award from long-time vegan and award-winning DJ, Moby. Then Farm Sanctuary co-founder, Gene Baur, presented Chef Tal Ronen, the founder and chef of Crossroads Kitchen, with the Inspiration Award, as the innovator of exceptional Los Angeles’ vegan cuisine.

MTV’s first Latina VJ, now TV host, businesswoman and most importantly, animal activist, Daisy Fuentes, joined the stage to present the Friends, Not Food Award to award-winning singer and songwriter, Leona Lewis. As a strong and very vocal advocate, Leona has stood up for the rights of animals in numerous campaigns including refusing to perform in places that condone animal cruelty.

The presentation concluded with award-winning comedian and Farm Sanctuary supporter, Jon Stewart, presenting the final Gift of Life Award to Allene Lapides, the President of the Allene & Jerome Lapides Foundation, which focuses on animal rights, animal protection, women’s issues, and the environment. Allene Lapides, a longtime supporter of Farm Sanctuary, has been very devoted to the welfare of animals, and is making it possible for Farm Sanctuary to open a shelter and educational center in Santa Fe, NM. Jon & Tracey Stewart were last year’s honoree of Farm Sanctuary’s Gift of Life Award, and their acceptance marked the beginning of a journey that includes rescuing a bull named Frank, a horse named Lily and many other beautiful animals.

Celebrities in attendance included Natalie Portman, James Cromwell, Renee Olstead, Jeff Garlin, Craig Ferguson, Jennifer Coolidge, Kara Royster, Simone Reyes, Sloane Avery, Lesley Nichol, David Mazouz, Jonathan Slavin, and many more.

Guests enjoyed a surprise “Happy Birthday” performance by Leona Lewis and a nostalgic performance by pop icon and recent vegan, Richard Marx, singing “Right Here Waiting” and “Don’t Mean Nothing”. Paddles were raised during an exciting Fund-A-Farm Live Auction to raise money for Farm Sanctuary, and guests shopped a farmers-market-style gift station to cut down on waste and take home the products they will use most. Gifts ranged from Kat Von D Beauty makeup, Love Goodly’s eco-luxury lifestyle box curated by Emily Deschanel, 100% PURE beauty; to Live Beaming, a NuCulture Cheese sampling, Wully Outerwear, and more.



allene_lapides_250x250Allene Lapides | The Gift of Life Award

Allene is the President of the Allene & Jerome Lapides Foundation, which focuses on animal rights, animal protection, women’s issues, and the environment.

A member of the Board of Directors for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society, Allene and her late husband Jerome and the Lapides Foundation were instrumental in making the Santa Fe Animal Shelter a model for animal shelters throughout the United States. She shares her home with her four rescued dogs and five horses.

As a former member of the Board of Directors of the Jane Goodall Institute, Allene was a driving force in expanding the worldwide growth of Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots youth program, and expanding its influence throughout the world.

In addition to her commitment to animal issues, Allene has focused on introducing contemporary art to the Santa Fe art community. She had previously run the Allene Lapides Art Gallery in Santa Fe.

Farm Sanctuary is thrilled to be presenting the Gift of Life Award to Allene to recognize the passion for animals that has extended throughout her lifetime. A long-time supporter of Farm Sanctuary, Allene is a member of both The Hilda Club and The Legacy Society. She is making it possible for Farm Sanctuary to have a shelter and educational center in Santa Fe, NM.

kat-von-d_250x250Kat Von D | The Compassion in Action Award

Artist, tattooer, author, musician, activist, and founder of Kat Von D Beauty, Kat Von D’s story began in the small rural city of Montemorelos, Mexico where she was born — a heritage she celebrates in her artwork. Kat was 6 years old when her family migrated to the United States in 1988, moving to Southern California.

A classically trained pianist, Kat has played piano since age 5, and still plays till this day. Ludwig Van Beethoven has held the title of her main inspiration. Kat is currently recording her debut album expected to release in 2017.

Kat started tattooing at the age 14, working throughout Los Angeles. Kat opened up her own shop in 2007, High Voltage Tattoo in West Hollywood where she’s tattooed a long list of celebrities, musicians, and artists. Kat eventually starred in her own show, LA Ink, about her renowned tattoo shop. It was at High Voltage Tattoo where Kat set the Guinness World Record for doing the most tattoos in 24 hours, donating all proceeds to charity.

In 2008, Kat Von D defied expectations, taking the world by storm with her extreme-performance makeup collection: Kat Von D Beauty, sold exclusively/internationally through Sephora. Kat Von D Beauty is 100% cruelty free, and has been reformulated to become 100% vegan. Kat is also currently working on launching a 100% vegan shoe line next year.

Kat’s passion for animals, humanity, and the environment have inspired her activism, as well as her recent motivation to vocalize and inspire veganism, and is anti-animal cruelty.

Kat regularly volunteers during marine animal season at the California Wildlife Center. In 2015, Kat raised over 100K by donating sales of a beauty product. Kat became a sponsor and volunteer for Project Chimps Animal Sanctuary in 2016, releasing a charity lipstick and donating the proceeds of over 200k.

Recently, Kat was featured in Laika Magazine and the entire interview was shot on location at Farm Sanctuary’s Acton shelter. Kat spent her birthday volunteering at Farm Sanctuary, and in general, uses her fame to raise money and awareness for animal rights. She truly exemplifies Compassion in Action!

leonalewis_250x250Leona Lewis | The Friends, Not Food Award

The British singing sensation has sold over 20 million records worldwide, and reached #1 in over 35 countries with her hit single “Bleeding Love.” A vocal powerhouse who is renowned for her range and ability, Lewis is a three-time GRAMMY Award nominee, seven-time BRIT Award nominee, MTV VMA and World Music Award winner, and has been nominated for MTV EMAs and Billboard Awards. Lewis became the first British female solo artist to top the US Billboard 200 album chart in more than 20 years with her debut album Spirit.

2016 saw Leona nominated for a CMT Award and was recognized with the “Music Pioneer Award” at the United Nations Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. Recently, Leona has made her Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webbers “Cats,” playing the highly prestigious role of Grizabella, performing the world-famous song “Memory.”

Leona is deserving of The Friends, Not Food Award for being an extremely passionate humanitarian and animal-rights activist, working with organizations such as World Wildlife Fund, The Prince’s Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust, Sports Relief, Humane Society, World Animal Protection, and more. Leona is a trustee of Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in the UK which is home to over 300 animals that have been neglected or abused.

crossroads-kitchen_250x250Crossroads Kitchen | The Inspiration Award

In March of 2013 Crossroads Kitchen opened at the corner of Melrose and Sweetzer in Los Angeles. They are proud to serve mouthwatering Mediterranean meals in a refined environment. Crossroads is not what people picture when they think of a vegan restaurant.

With upscale décor and lighting, this is the first plant-based restaurant in town to have a full bar with an inspired cocktail program. There are no obvious vegan cues and most guests don’t even make the connection that the menu is plant-based – they just know that the restaurant is comfortable and the food is satisfying and delicious. Crossroads is defined not by what’s missing but by what it is.

Crossroads is an intersection where vegans, flexitarians, omnivores and meat eaters can cross paths to share a delicious meal and a good time. They believe great food should be enjoyed by everyone!

Chef/Owner Tal Ronnen and Executive Chef Scot Jones are being honored with The Inspiration Award for inspiring a food movement that elevates vegan food to new heights and provides clear evidence that eating compassionately can be hip, healthy, and spiritually uplifting. Crossroads Kitchen has become a gateway restaurant for people who never imagined themselves leading a plant-based life.


nealon-kevin_250x250Kevin Nealon | Host

Kevin Nealon sets himself apart from other comedic performers with his unique sense of humor, dry wit, and likable demeanor. Nealon is best known for his nine-year stint as a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and has received critical acclaim for his role in the Showtime series, Weeds. Starting in October of 2016, Kevin will be seen as one of the stars on the CBS-TV comedy series Man With A Plan.

Nealon has found great comedic success in his extensive film career. In Anger Management, he played opposite Jack Nicholson and fellow SNL comedian, Adam Sandler. He and Sandler also teamed up in Eight Crazy Nights, The Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, Blended, Just Go With It and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. In Joe Dirt, Nealon joined fellow SNL alumnus David Spade. Kevin’s other film credits include Daddy Day Care with Eddie Murphy, Good Boy with Molly Shannon, Roxanne with Steve Martin, and the cult hit Grandma’s Boy with Jonah Hill and Nick Swardson.

As one of the longest running cast members on SNL (1986-1995), Nealon created some of the show’s most memorable characters, including “The Subliminal Man” and “Hans and Franz.” Nealon’s reoccurring role as an anchor on “Weekend Update” made the sketch a show staple. In 1988 Kevin earned an Emmy Award nomination as part of the SNL writing team.

An avid animal-rights activist and vegan and long-time Farm Sanctuary supporter, Kevin sheds a very public light on the plight of abused animals and is a very passionate voice for animal protection.

Richard MarxSpecial musical performance by Richard Marx

As a performer, songwriter, and producer, Richard Marx’s nearly three-decade-long career has had innumerable highlights. He has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, starting with his debut, which went to #8 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and spawned four Top 5 singles, including the chart-topping “Hold on to the Nights,” and “Don’t Mean Nothing,” which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. His second album was even more successful, hitting #1 and going quadruple-platinum, with two #1 singles in “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting.” When both his third and fourth albums went platinum, Marx achieved a seven-year string of triumphs that rivaled any in pop-rock music history. To this day, he is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard charts.

For most artists, that would be impressive enough – but Marx didn’t stop there. He launched a second, very successful, incarnation as a songwriter and producer, with songs like “To Where You Are,” the first hit single from Josh Groban’s debut album; the NSYNC smash “This I Promise You”; and Luther Vandross’ “Dance with My Father,” which he co-authored, earning him a 2004 Song of the Year Grammy. Across all formats, Marx has scored 14 #1 singles, both as a performer and songwriter/producer, and holds the honor of being one of a handful of artists who have had a number-one hit in each of the past four decades. In addition to his songwriting and production work, Marx has continued to break new ground in his solo career; his eighth studio album, Beautiful Goodbye, was released in 2014.

Richard has made a commitment to several different causes, from donating the royalties from his hit single, “Should’ve Known Better,” to build a room at the NYU Medical Center for pediatric cancer patients, to his recording of “Children of the Night,” which brought attention to the plight of homeless children on the streets, raising more than $500k for the Children of the Night Foundation. Marx has also performed benefit concerts over the years for a variety of charities, including the Make a Wish Foundation, the Special Olympics, Toys for Tots, and Best Buddies, and several health-related charities. He hosts an annual event in Chicago benefiting children facing major health issues and their families, and, with his band, has also entertained U.S. troops stationed in Germany. He has also organized an annual all-star concert to help those affected by cystic fibrosis, raising more than $4 million.


Daisy FuentesJon StewartMoby
Daisy FuentesJon StewartMoby

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