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North Shore Animal League America Celebrity Gala: A Night for Dreams

Our Largest Fundraising Event in History Moves Bianca’s Furry Friends Closer to Reality

A fantastic time was had by all at the Animal League America Celebrity Gala, held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on November 22, 2013.

Honorary Chairs Beth and Howard Stern welcomed many of their friends to the event, including John Stamos, Matt Lauer, Zach Braff, George Takei, Robin Givens, Natalie Maines (who also performed) and Guest of Honor Rachael Ray, who has been a longtime contributor to our no-kill mission.

Of course, many animal lovers and devoted supporters of our mission joined in the festivities, along with plenty of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens! All were there to support Bianca’s Furry Friends, one of the largest expansion plan's in North Shore Animal League America’s history.

With Bianca’s Furry Friends, we’ll add a cage-free, 14,000-square-foot second floor to our existing Adoption Headquarters that will feature a cage-free environment for hundreds of cats and kittens. It will also include an advanced Wellness Center; a 24-hour-care feline Nursery exclusively for pregnant and nursing mama cats and their newborn litters; a Surgical Center; and more.

In introducing Beth and Howard Stern, Joanne Yohannan, Senior VP of Operations at Animal League America, told the audience, “As co-chairs of tonight’s gala, Beth and Howard deserve a great deal of credit for its tremendous success. This event was truly a work of love for them, because all of the proceeds will go toward Bianca’s Furry Friends, a project close to both Beth and Howard’s hearts.”

Nearly $1 million had been raised to date for Bianca's furry Friends, with $610,000 raised from the Gala alone—a fact that moved Beth Stern to tears as she thanked everyone who had come out to support the project. “Bianca’s Furry Friends is going to be an amazing addition to Animal League America’s campus,” she said. “It will serve as a role model for other humane organizations, and that is a beautiful legacy for our precious Bianca.”

The Gala, hosted by Peter Rosenberg from Hot 97 Radio, was filled with great entertainment, including several songs by Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines; performances by America's Got Talent's Tom Cotter and Kid the Wiz; and a stunning aerobatic display by husband-and-wife team Victoria Grimmy and Michael Dubois, who also adopted two of the 50 cats that Beth and Howard have fostered.

Rachael Ray graciously accepted her award, saying that the mission of North Shore Animal League America is one that she shares. Through her Rachael’s Rescue foundation, she has supported our work through generous contributions and also by highlighting our adoptable animals on her TV show.

We look forward to seeing everyone at next year's event! To find out how you can support Bianca's Furry Friends, please visit