Mercy For Animals Raised a Record $2.3 Million at 25th Anniversary Gala

The Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala, held on April 20, 2024, featured an awards ceremony honoring top changemakers in the animal protection movement, innovative plant-based food, an exciting auction, and a vibrant after-party under the stars at our first-ever “Future of Food” night market. Thank you, everyone who attended, supported, or sponsored the gala. In-person and virtual gala guests and supporters raised $2,297,772 million to support Mercy For Animals’ vital work!

Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala honorees pose with President and CEO Leah Garces
Photo: Chelsea Lauren

The evening began with a grand red-carpet reception at Rolling Greens in Downtown Los Angeles. Celebrity advocates who walked the carpet or visited the Popsockets Social Media Lounge included Moby, Diane Warren, Sam Asghari, Blake Moynes, Ronen Rubinstein, Stephanie Corneliussen, Elliot Knight, Brett Dier, Brooke Candy, Fin Argus, Babette Davis, Courtney Stodden, Harley Quinn Smith, Ivanna Sakhno, Mark Webber, and dozens of other outspoken activists and animal lovers.

Stephanie Corneliussen on the blue carpet at the Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala
Photo: John Salangsang / Shutterstock for Mercy for Animals

Even Nickelodeon’s Tiny Chef was spotted decked out in his full-glam tiny tuxedo!

Photo: Chelsea Lauren


Throughout the evening and days leading up to the event, guests and online supporters had the opportunity to participate in auctions with amazing items donated by generous companies and individuals. Auction items for online bidding included extraordinary vacation destinations, like Mother Earth Vegan Hotel in Costa Rica; farm sanctuary experiences with Black Beauty Ranch and Farm Sanctuary; custom portraits; and even the Ultimate Dog Package with donations from BRAMBLE, Zoom Room, and TrueBlue Pet Products.

Speed painter showing portrait of a cow she painted at Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala
Photo: John Salangsang / Shutterstock for Mercy for Animals

Three live auction lots featured a performance-art piece created by world-renowned speed painter and live-art entertainer Amy Burkman, a custom comic strip by MUTTS creator Patrick McDonnell, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Vegan African Safaris. Thanks to auctioneer Jamie McDonald and those who donated the items or bid on them.

Photo: John Salangsang : Shutterstock for Mercy for Animals

Awards Ceremony

The ceremony took place inside Rolling Greens’ “greenhouse” for a four-course meal from internationally celebrated chefs Wolfgang Puck and Leslie Durso featuring Beyond Meat. The ceremony recognized compassionate animal advocates with awards. Persia White; Joseph Morgan; Radhi Devlukia-Shetty; Jay Shetty; Moby; Patricia De Leon; Daniella Monet; Maggie Baird; Michaela Jaé Rodriguez; Sarah Jeffery; Dr. Tyson-Lord Gray; and Mercy For Animals’ president and CEO, Leah Garcès presented at the event. Guests also enjoyed musical performances from C5 and Stefano Langone.

c5 Performing a song for Tabitha Brown at Mercy For Animals 25th Anniversary Gala
Photo: Chelsea Lauren

Love & Light Award

Mercy For Animals awarded bestselling author, influencer, actor, and entrepreneur Tabitha Brown with the Love & Light Award for her inspiring work to cultivate kindness and empathy for all. “I think grace is the biggest thing we all can use to make a difference,” Tabitha says in her acceptance video. “Everybody doesn’t have the same knowledge. So if we stop to give people grace and understanding before we attack or place judgment, I think that always leaves room for us to make a difference.”

Hidden Hero Award

Undercover investigator Ryan received the Hidden Hero Award for his work exposing the cruelty animals endure behind the scenes in factory farms. The footage he captured in the field helped the passage of Proposition 12, one of the strongest animal protection laws in the United States. “This award goes out to anyone working to bring light to the darkest corners of injustice,” Ryan said in his acceptance speech. 

Community Changemaker Award

The Smell of Money executive producers Kate Mara and Travon Free accepted the Community Changemaker Award for their dedication to fighting environmental injustice and revealing the dangers factory farms impose on surrounding communities. The Smell of Money is available for streaming on AppleTV, Prime Video, YouTube, and Google Play. 

Compassionate Leadership Award

Iconic flamenco guitarist and comedian Charo accepted the final award of the night—the Compassionate Leadership Award—for her decades of activism and fearlessly speaking out on behalf of animals.

The ceremony after-party was energy-charged and full of even more music and delicious food, with a pizza-slice bar from Pura Vita and Prime Roots, as well as Beyond IV burgers made onsite by Vurger Guyz. Guests also sampled some of the most innovative plant-based products and learned from food-tech pioneers at our exclusive night market featuring Prime Roots, New School Foods, Southern Roots Vegan Bakery, Konscious Foods, Yo Egg, WunderEggs, No Bones naked cauliflower wings, Bond Pet Foods, and Sunday Supper

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Mercy For Animals would like to thank everyone who celebrated the organization’s 25th anniversary virtually or in person. We are grateful for our generous sponsors who made the Mercy For Animals gala a spectacular success: ASPCA, Breyer, Carol House Furniture, Popsockets, Farmed Animal Funders, Andy Nahas & The Prospect Fund, VegNews magazine, and so many more.

Couldn’t make it to the event but still want to support Mercy For Animals’ work to protect animals? Donate today!