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Summer 2007 - Act•ionLine

by Joan Lownds, photography by Jane Seymour | Summer 2007

Friends of Animals 50th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraising Dinner a Success

We celebrated our fiftieth anniversary on Friday, May 18, with a dinner that brought hundreds of activists and supporters from all over together at the Hilton Hotel in New York City.

The evening was made possible by many generous supporters and prize donors; we are grateful to each of you.

President Priscilla Feral offered an overview of FoA’s vision and accomplishments, from its inception in 1957 with a handful of volunteers dedicated to “creating a network of veterinarians to offer low-cost services to pre vent births of cats and dogs---thus sparing animals from institutional killing.” This pioneering effort grew to include thousands of veterinarians, and sterilizations have now passed the 2.5 million mark, Feral said.

FoA’s membership has also expanded, to 200,000 members and supporters worldwide -- people who share a commitment to respect for animals and a resistance to compromise. Some of our newest projects include critical work with primates and other animals homed in Texas, as well as marine mammals and birds affected by a severe outbreak of toxic poisoning on the California coast. The dinner attendees heard from Priscilla Feral about the specifics of these projects -- making this celebration as informational as it was entertaining.

Hosted by the well-known actor and voice-over artist Michael Bell, the gathering featured a gourmet vegan dinner catered by Candle 79, and delightful music performed by singer and songwriter Nellie McKay. McKay -- who is a keen activist as well -- invited people to dance, and the party really started hopping.

Priscilla Feral presented an award for the Advancement of Ecological Understanding Through Media to Ken Dixon of the Connecticut Post and the Innovations in Environmental Advocacy Award to Jay Tutchton, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Denver University’s Sturm College of Law.

In presenting the honors, Feral quoted British author John Bunyan: “You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you,” emblematic of the FoA spirit. The milestone celebration was a tremendous success, marked by hope for the other animals on the planet.

Joan Lownds, photography by Jane Seymour

Act•ionLine Summer 2007

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