Tuesday, February 9, 2010

10th Anniversary WildCare Gala

Who: VegWebmistress Laura Beck
What: 10th Anniversary WildCare Gala

Mill Valley Community Center, Mill Valley, Calif.
When: Friday, February 5, 2010
Why: Because where else do you get to hang out with rescued opossums while wearing a ball gown?

The Scoop: Last Friday, I got all dolled up and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin for a bash to celebrate Wildcare. Wildcare is a wildlife rehabilitation hospital, education center, and advocate for wild creatures everywhere. Who you gonna call when you find a baby sparrow in the middle of a busy SF street? Wildcare! I can't count the number of times I've either taken an injured wild animal to Wildcare or called its Living with Wildlife Hotline to learn the best way to humanely handle the family of raccoons playing poker in my garage—or whatever it is that raccoons do besides be adorable and eat garbage. Wildcare is an amazing resource and I love them for being there for the wild animals of the San Francisco Bay Area. Also, Wildcare is hip to the fact that those working to save animals probably shouldn't also be eating animals. Therefore, all of its events are vegetarian friendly! You gotta love a group that extends compassion to all creatures.

The 10th Anniversary Wildcare Gala was definitely a reflection of the organization's values, filled with wonderful animals and the people who care about them. When I arrived, I walked into a room filled with some of the most fabulous fashions I've seen in a long time. I'm talking sequined taffeta and floral satin EVERYWHERE. I love a well (read: crazily) dressed crowd. Best part? The only fur in the room belonged to some of the animals who were meeting and greeting the gala-goers.

Livia Stone, Biz Stone, Arianna Huffington, and Gretchen Kimball

Set back from the attendees, there were seasoned volunteers introducing the crowd to some of the more human-friendly Wildcare residents. I was assured by several staff members that only animals who were comfortable around people were brought out for the evening. There was also a rotation so that none of the animals spent more than 15 minutes amongst guests. Now that the animal-rights part of me had her questions answered, the slightly psycho animal enthusiast in me was PSYCHED to meet a barn owl, an opossum, and a king snake! I went into full fanatic mode when I saw a Peregrine Falcon. I don't know if I'd be this excited to meet any human celebrity. Jude Law WHO? Johnny Depp WHAT? Excuse me, I'll be in the corner making eyes at that falcon. Did you know that Peregrine Falcons can fly up to 200 miles-per-hour when diving for prey? Animals are amazing.

Hello, vegan feast!

After I got my fix of animal time, we headed into the ballroom where dinner was served. And what a vegan feast it was! The highlight of the meal was the butternut-squash ravioli that was coated in some sort of magically addicting sauce. I'm pretty sure it had at least a small amount of crack in it. I kid! Don't do drugs! The other highlight of the evening was the emcee, Arianna Huffington. She gave an amazing speech about the power of empathy and about how Wildcare is low-tech but high-heart (aww). There may or may not have been a reference to Star Trek and the fact that you can't gain admittance into the United Federation of Planets if you're not respectful towards all life. Yeah, it was pretty great.

The evening ended with a slide show about Wildcare and all that they've been able to accomplish, and all that they hope to do. If you feel like some cute animal overload, you'll watch it.


Jonas said...

Wow! What a fun evening! Opossums are the cutest little muppets.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I am out of the loop! I would have loved to attend this!

Anonymous said...

For the fabulous WildCare Gala, Dan McCall of MCCall Catering developed the vegetarian and vegan menu and deserve all the credit for the amazing food.