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Free to Be Fancy Free: Celebrating With Mercy For Animals in the Hamptons

SuperVegan was on hand for the Mercy for Animals hosted Free to Be: A Night for the Animals in the Hamptons on the evening of Saturday, June 22.

(photo by Jenni Rempel)

(Photo by Jenni Rempel.)

Attendees were promised the chance to “meet and mingle with leaders from the entertainment, political, and animal protection communities” and MFA did not disappoint.

Looking around the room, I saw NBA champion John Salley, CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell, MFA’s Nathan Runkle & Eddie Garza, designers Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart & Joshua Katcher, choreographer James Koroni, Cody Carlson, a former undercover investigator for MFA who exposed rampant abuse inside factory farms (you may have seen Carlson in a recent Daily Show segment on ag-gag laws), lighting and production designer John BroderickDefeat Christine Quinn campaigner Donny Moss, art curator Robert Aloia, Our Hen House‘s Liz Dee, writer Nell Alk, DJ Stretch ArmstrongSuite ThreeOhSix‘s Daphne Cheng, among other guests I likely pushed out of the way to get to the desserts.

L-R: Eddie Garza, Tim Terhaar, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Joshua Katcher, X  (photo Derek Goodwin, in case you can't read that giant watermark)

L-R: Eddie Garza, Tim Terhaar, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Joshua Katcher, and James Koroni. (Photo by Derek Goodwin, in case you can’t read the giant watermark.)

dessert table

(Photo by Jenni Rempel.)

During the evening’s presentation, Salley presented  MFA’s Compassionate Leadership Award to Emmy award-winning CNN television journalist and bestselling author Velez-Mitchell in honor of her passion for, dedication to, and leadership in helping to protect farmed animals.

Jane Velez-Mitchell receives her award from John Salley. (Photo by Splice Photography.)

(Photos by Derek Goodwin.)

(Photos by Derek Goodwin.)

Hosted by John Bradham at his swanky home in Amagansett, the event featured food from Gardein (the mini Wellington puffs and “crab” cakes were to die for—except nobody had to die to make them, score!), Vegan Treats, Treeline nut cheese and wine from The Vegan Vine, which recently signed on Salley as a partner. There was just a whole lot of fancy happening under an amazingly bright moon, which happened to be the closest supermoon of 2013.

Not to forget the whole point of the evening, funds raised through the event support MFA’s groundbreaking initiatives and crucial work within its four areas of focus: undercover cruelty investigations, consumer education initiatives, corporate outreach, and legal advocacy. Vegan Treats owner Danielle Konya was happy to donate her time, and her desserts, to the cause. As she pointed out: “I don’t really about care about dessert, I care about animals.” I would have whole-heartedly agreed, of course, but I had my eye on a chocolate-covered vegan cannoli.

Mercy For Animals Founder and Executive Director Nathan Runkle with Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Mercy For Animals Founder and Executive Director Nathan Runkle with Jane Velez-Mitchell. (Photo by Splice Photography.)

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