Charo announced as latest honoree at star-studded gala benefiting Mercy For Animals, musical artist C5 set for live performance

Charo, Mara, Free, and Brown will unite to promote positive and necessary shifts toward a compassionate food system  

LOS ANGELES (March 25, 2024) — Today Mercy For Animals announced its fourth and final awardee for the 25th anniversary gala to take place on Saturday, April 20, 2024: Charo, the world-famous Flamenco master and television icon, will be honored with the Compassionate Leadership Award. The gala will also spotlight acclaimed musical artist C5 in an electrifying performance.

Previously announced honorees Kate Mara, Travon Free, and Tabitha Brown will be recognized for their efforts to eradicate our cruel food system and replace it with one that is not just kind to animals but essential for the future of our planet and all who share it. Mercy For Animals is the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to ending industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system.

Charo has long been vocal about her love for animals and support for various animal protection causes, inspiring her selection as recipient of this year’s Compassionate Leadership Award at The Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala. Her namesake animal adoption center and outspoken opposition to animal cruelty on social media attest to her dedication to ending animal suffering.

Activist Kate Mara and Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer, director, producer, and comedian Travon Free will be honored with the Community Changemaker Award for their work as executive producers of the documentary “The Smell of Money,” a story about the power of love for one’s family and community to triumph over even the largest forces of injustice. The film calls on viewers to see the people behind what’s on our plates—and to join the fight for a better future for all. 

Tabitha Brown, actress, New York Times bestselling author, vegan foodie, and winner of the Emmy Award and NAACP Image Award, will be presented with the esteemed Love & Light Award. The Love & Light Award recognizes the myriad ways Ms. Brown has used her social platforms and eclectic creative and business endeavors to uplift, inspire, and empower a global audience of millions to embrace plant-based living and love all beings. Ms. Brown has been a major collaborator of Mercy For Animals since 2018, so this award also honors the many collective efforts that would not have been possible without her.  

Join the foremost global farmed-animal protection nonprofit for this milestone event as animal advocates, environmental leaders, and food-tech pioneers look to the next 25 years and more of creating a world where all animals are respected, protected, and free.

The star-studded program will also feature additional inspiring musical performances and celebrity appearances to be announced soon. 

Mercy For Animals is grateful for the support of these generous partners who help make its vital work possible: Hero sponsors ASPCA and Carol House Furniture; Changemaker sponsors Breyer Horses and Popsockets; Defender sponsor VegNews Magazine; Advocate sponsors Beyond Meat, Bramble Pets, Chella, Joyful Ventures, Mobius, MUTTS Comics, Petrichor Vineyards, Ubuntu, VGAN Chocolates; Protector sponsors Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Climax Foods, Duggal Visual Solutions, Eventique, Just Ice Tea, Katjes, Konscious Foods, LEAP for Animals, Michelson Found Animals, New School Foods, Next Level Veggie Grill, No Bones / Naked Cauliflower Wings, Prime Roots, Pura Vita, Ritual Zero Proof, Southern Roots Bakery, Sunday Supper, Upton’s Naturals, Vegan Women Summit, Yo Egg, and WunderEggs

Mercy For Animals is also thankful for the over 170 public figures worldwide who are supporting this landmark event and the organization as members of the Celebrity Honorary Committee

Additionally, Mercy For Animals is pleased to announce the recipients of its inaugural 25th Anniversary Digital Awards! Ahead of the gala, the organization will recognize its supporters’ favorites in categories ranging from food innovation to plant-powered athleticism. Click here to learn about the awardees!

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Charo is a Spanish-American music and pop culture icon who has entertained millions. With her infectious humor and guitar virtuosity, dancers, and the “Pink Martini” orchestra, she has wowed over 17,000 in attendance at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Charo is dubbed “The Queen of Instagram” for her fun, entertaining, and informative content. The New York Times recently spotlighted her in “The Brilliance of Charo.” Her trademark expression, “Cuchi Cuchi,” has endeared her to audiences around the world and made her name synonymous with music, fun, and excitement. This singer, composer, actress, and comedienne has been voted “Best Flamenco Guitarist” twice by Guitar Player magazine. Most recently, Charo teamed up with world-famous DJs to release the dance-track series “Fantastico! The International Remixes.”


Hailing from vibrant Oakland, California, and now based in the creative hub of LA, C5 is a seasoned musical artist and lyricist with over 15 years in the industry. His unique brand of soulful hip-hop is both vulnerable and empowering. C5’s work attests to his commitment to authenticity and genuine connection with his audience. His compelling lyrics share his personal journey while inspiring and encouraging listeners to embrace their own greatness. Woven into his music is the message that no one is alone in their struggles and success is within reach for all. A sincere desire to uplift and motivate drives C5’s artistic endeavors. In his own words, “Spread love and contribute to the world’s healing.”


Kate Mara is an actor and a film producer known for her role in the Netflix political drama “House of Cards.” Most recently, Kate starred in and executive-produced the hit Hulu miniseries “A Teacher.”


Travon Free is an Academy, Emmy, and Peabody Award-winning writer, producer, director, and comedian from Compton, California. His writing credits include “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “The Daily Show,” and “Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons.” Travon produced the Emmy Award-winning “38 at the Garden” and directed “BS High,” which premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.


Tabitha Brown satisfies the hunger of millions with her unique approach to veganism and her comedic personality. Through sharing new recipes, offering words of wisdom, enjoying a good laugh, and more, she has become “America’s Mom” to her over 13 million followers. The North Carolina-born Emmy Award-winning actress, vegan food personality, mother, and wife is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and three-time winner of the NAACP Image Award. She received her honorary doctorate from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Tabitha has acted in notable theatrical features on major networks, such as “The Chi” on Showtime; executive-produced and hosted Food Network’s first vegan cooking competition, “It’s CompliPlated”; and co-created “Tab Time,” a children’s show that she hosts. 

Tabitha is co-founder and CEO of her own healthy haircare line, Donna’s Recipe, and she has launched product lines in multiple categories with major retailer Target. Of course, Tabitha never fails to bring sunshine to everyone’s kitchens with her signature McCormick seasoning blends and mixes—because that’s her business! 

Above all, Tabitha teaches us about having faith and perseverance, paving our unique paths to realizing dreams, and being our authentic selves.


Mercy For Animals is a leading international nonprofit working to end industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system. Active in Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, and the United States, the organization has conducted over 100 investigations of factory farms and slaughterhouses, influenced over 500 corporate policies, and helped pass historic legislation to ban cages for farmed animals. Join us at The Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala to honor those who fight for compassionate alternatives to the status quo and a world where all animals are respected, protected, and free.