We laughed, we cried, and we filled a room with compassion at Farm Sanctuary on the Hudson 2018 Gala. It was a beautiful night to honor changemakers and reflect on the progress we’ve made thanks to our dedicated supporters.

We are grateful to honorees, Dr. Kristi Funk, Carol Leifer, and Tracye McQuirter, and presenters, Emily Deschanel, Michael C. Hall, Cyndi Lauper, and Sandra Lee. Celebrity guests, including Jennifer Coolidge, Bessy and Joe Gatto, Joan Jett, Harley Quinn Smith, and Loretta Swit, helped us shine a bright light on Farm Sanctuary’s vital mission. Actress and singer Bellamy Young did a phenomenal job as emcee, and Colbie Caillat capped the moving evening with some of her Grammy-winning hits.

Thank you for helping us change the hearts and minds of a generation, and supporting us as we continue our critical work ahead.


Carol Leifer

Carol Leifer

Carol Leifer

Animal Advocate Award

Comedy writer and stand-up comedian Carol Leifer’s dazzling, observational-style humor has led her to four Emmy nominations for her writing on such extraordinary television shows as Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, and Saturday Night Live. Carol has starred in five of her own comedy specials and holds the record (an unbelievable 25 times) for the most appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. She has written for the Oscars telecast eight times, more than any other female writer to date, most recently in 2018 for host Jimmy Kimmel. Perhaps most impressive among her many honors is the prestigious Writers Guild Award for her work on TV’s number-one comedy, Modern Family. Carol is currently a writer/producer on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Her illustrious career has provided plenty of fodder for her two best-sellers, When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win and her latest, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Crying. While she’s made a career out of making people laugh, Carol is a serious and committed animal advocate.

Photo by Scott Kirkland.

Tracye McQuirter

Tracye McQuirter

Tracye McQuirter

Compassionate Vegan Living Award

Tracye McQuirter, MPH, was named a national food hero changing the way America eats for the better by Vegetarian Times. She's the author of the new book Ageless Vegan, with her mother, Mary McQuirter, and the national best-seller By Any Greens Necessary, which established her as one of the most influential vegans in the country. As a writer, speaker, public health nutritionist, and 30-year vegan, Tracye has been teaching people how and why to live a healthy vegan lifestyle for the past 25 years. She directed the nation’s first federally funded vegan nutrition program and was a nutrition advisor for the Black Women’s Health Imperative. Tracye recently created the free African American Vegan Starter Guide in partnership with Farm Sanctuary, with half a million printed copies of the guide in distribution to date. Tracye also co-created one of the earliest vegan websites 20 years ago and co-created an animal rights organization for people of color during the same period. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Essence, Women's Health, Bon Appétit, Ebony, VegNews, The Huffington Post, and many more. Tracye is a graduate of Sidwell Friends School, Amherst College, and New York University, where she received a master's degree in public health nutrition.

Photo by a little bit of whimsy photography.

Kristi Funk, M.D.

Kristi Funk, M.D.

Kristi Funk, M.D.

Gift of Life Award

Dr. Kristi Funk, a board-certified breast cancer surgeon, co-founder of the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Beverly Hills, and author of the national best-seller Breasts: The Owner’s Manual, is an expert in minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment methods for all types of breast disease. She has helped thousands of women through breast treatment, and many celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Sheryl Crow, have sought out her expertise.

Dr. Funk graduated with distinction from Stanford University in 1991, and received her medical degree from the UC Davis School of Medicine. After her surgical residency in Seattle, she completed a breast fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she then excelled as a surgeon and director of their breast center for seven years. In 2009, Dr. Funk, alongside her entrepreneurial husband, Andy Funk, opened the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Beverly Hills. The Pink Lotus Breast Center fuses state-of-the-art screening, genetic testing, diagnosis, and treatment with preventive strategies and holistic, compassionate care. Dr. Funk is also the founding ambassador of the Pink Lotus Foundation, whose sole mission is to provide low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women with 100 percent free access to breast cancer screening and care.

Dr. Funk’s extensive research into the causes and risk factors for breast cancer led her to switch her entire family to a whole food plant-based diet and she recommends the same for all her patients (including actress Ellen Pompeo, who heralded Dr. Funk as the reason she and her family went vegan earlier this year). She is a sought-after presenter and TV personality and has appeared in hundreds of TV segments, news articles, and stories, where she has advocated the life-saving benefits of whole food plant-based living.

Dr. Funk resides in Pacific Palisades, a peaceful suburb of Los Angeles, with her husband and triplet sons.

Special Guests

Jennifer Coolidge

Emily Deschanel

Joe & Bessy Gatto

Michael C. Hall

Joan Jett

Harley Quinn Smith

Loretta Swit

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper

Presentation of Animal Advocate Award to Carol Leifer
(Photo by Helen Maybanks)

Hosted by Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young

Acclaimed actress and singer Bellamy Young stars as President Mellie Grant on ABC/Shonda Rhimes’ Peabody Award-winning series Scandal. Her critically praised performance as the politically ambitious first-lady-turned-president earned her a Best Supporting Actress statue from the Critics’ Choice Television Awards and landed her on best-of lists including Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Best Characters on TV, #15 on Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Best TV Scenes of the Year, The New York Post’s Top 10 TV Actors, and TV Guide’s Fan Favorite Award. Rolling Stone described her portrayal as “the most badass first lady in TV history” and E!’s resident TV critic Kristin Dos Santos described Young’s role as her “favorite character on TV ever.”

A longtime animal advocate, Young uses her fame to draw attention to causes including Farm Sanctuary, Operation Blankets of Love, and The Shelter Pet Project. During the Obama Administration, she served as ambassador for the Trust for the National Mall, alongside Chelsea Clinton.

Born in the mountains of Asheville, NC, Young graduated from Yale University with dual degrees in English and Theater Studies; she also holds a certificate from Oxford University. She could attend and afford Yale because of a privately donated scholarship, and she now provides her own scholarship for current and prospective Yale students.

Special Performance By Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who has been honored with two Grammy Awards, sold more than 20 million singles worldwide, and garnered more than 300 million YouTube views. Her breakthrough hit “Bubbly” remains “one of the best-selling digital tracks in history” and her multi-platinum debut Coco hit #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, while her gold-selling sophomore set Breakthrough landed at #1. Her 2014 full-length release Gypsy Heart landed in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Top 200 Chart, fueled by the strength of her now-platinum-selling single “Try.” 2016’s The Malibu Sessions, released on her own independent label PlummyLou, was described by USA Today as “a carefree party, skimming on waves of acoustic guitar and sweet harmonies.” An international live draw, Colbie has played sold-out venues around the world alongside artists ranging from John Mayer to Sheryl Crow. Beyond music, she’s a devoted spokesperson and supporter for causes she cares about. She’s a longtime friend of Farm Sanctuary and also devotes her time and talents to helping other organizations focused on animal protection, music education, and Haitian earthquake relief.
(Photo by Gregory Metcalf)

After-Party With DJ Valida

DJ Valida

An animal rights activist herself, DJ Valida has for DJed gatherings including Moby’s Circle V’s festivals, SoCal Veg Fest, and the Vegan Playground. When she’s not advocating for animal rights, she’s an on-air music host/DJ for 89.9 FM KCRW and a producer of a weekly live music series, Desert Nights, at The Standard, Hollywood.
(Photo by Kelle Ramsey)


Chelsea Piers, Pier 60
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers


Liz Dee


James Costa

Host Committee

Nicole Brodeur & Alex Payne
Mika Brzezinski & Joe Scarborough
Laura Bushnell
Erin Culley
Emily Deschanel
Lyn Devon
Arne Emerson
Sunny & Brad Goldberg
Dr. Lorraine Henricks
Cameron Icard
Cindy Landon
Jennifer & Chuck Laue
Shani Rosenzweig
Kathy Toomey
Lona Williams
Jennifer Wynn & Ashkan Samadzadeh

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