With sponsors including the TOMS Animal Initiative, “An Evening With WildAid” brought out celebrities including Josh Duhamel, Bo Derek, Maggie Q, Dylan McDermott, John Corbett, Cassidy Freeman, Tricia Helfer, Donna D’Errico, Kristin Bauer, Thomas Gibson, Jonathan Tucker, Violett Beane, Laura Linda Bradley, Olesya Rulin, Jackie Siegal, Jeb Corliss, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, Alvester Martin and many more. Grammy award winning producer David Foster provided the musical entertainment with special guest performances by Katharine McPhee, Pia Toscano, Brenna Whitaker, Nathan Granner and Rogelio Douglas, Jr. “We had an amazing night beyond our expectations in raising funds to power forward our campaigns,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights. Entertainment Tonight correspondent Keltie Knight presented actor Josh Duhamel with the 2017 Wildlife Champion Award. Duhamel has been an advocate for WildAid filming several public service announcements for the organization and using his celebrity status on social media to engage new audiences and to spread awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and its detrimental effects on endangered species worldwide.
“An Evening With WildAid” featured a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception with silent auction. Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner by James Beard award-winning chef Tracey Des Jardins, owner of San Francisco’s famed Jardinière, and Mary Sue Milliken, co-chef/owner of the popular, critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants.
A highlight of the gala was WildAid CEO Peter Knights’ introduction of the organization’s new programs to protect endangered species and marine habitats. Knights also shared campaigns featuring WildAid’s portfolio of celebrity ambassadors, which includes Josh Duhamel, Lupita Nyong’o, Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, HRH Prince William, Leonardo DiCaprio, Maggie Q, the cast of the Walking Dead and many others.
WildAid produces impactful, compelling public service announcements that are Hollywood quality and distributes them to millions of viewers a week through pro bono media placement. WildAid’s campaigns have contributed to an 80% reduction in shark fin imports to China, a ban on ivory sales in China, and a 50% drop in the price of rhino horn in China and Vietnam. The TOMS Animal Initiative and WildAid joined forces early this year to launch a limited-edition footwear collection that supported WildAid’s conservation programs dedicated to the giant panda. Created by Heather Mycoskie, the TOMS Animal Initiative partners with nonprofit animal conservation organizations to raise awareness and support for global animal protection.