SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2010 7PM-MIDNIGHT
Guests of honor at the New York Celebrating Compassion Gala include:
Hal Sparks will serve as the emcee at the New York Celebrating Compassion Gala. Hal began his career as a comedian in Chicago at the age of 15 as a member of the famed Second City Troupe. When he was 17, he was crowned the "Funniest Teenager in Chicago" by the Chicago Sun Times.
From 1999-2000 he was a host on the Emmy Award-winning E! Entertainment show, "Talk Soup". In addition, Sparks starred as Michael Novotny in the critically acclaimed and award-winning "Queer As Folk" for five seasons, and also co-created the Ashton Kutcher film, Dude, Where's My Car? He is the lead singer and guitarist for the metal band ZERO 1 and is the voice of "Tak" on Nickelodeon's "Tak and the Power of Juju."
Dan Piraro stands 1386 ft., 7in. above sea level in his home of Brooklyn, NY. Born in Oklahoma in the mid-nineteen hundreds, he was raised by a pair of breeding homo sapiens then released into the wild at the age of 21. Since then, he has traveled extensively throughout the world for a variety of flimsy reasons.
As the result of small town training, he married at an early and unwise age. This marriage produced two daughters, both of whom are still speaking to him at this writing. Now on his second marriage, he dedicates much of his time to talking youngsters out of marriage until they are at least 40 years of age.
Piraro is an art school dropout of the '70s and worked extensively as a commercial illustrator while attempting to get his cartoon career going. Bizarro was first syndicated in 1985 and continues to be the highest rated newspaper comic among his close friends and family, as well as (one would hope) dozens of people around the world.
14 or so books of Piraro's work have been published, a few having little or nothing to do with his cartoon career. In addition to his grueling, daily endeavors as a cartoonist, he also paints, writes and performs music, does stand-up comedy, writes a regular humor column for VegNews magazine, and shouts at idiots on his television.
An avid animal rights advocate and ethical vegan since 2002, Piraro has spoken to dozens of veg and animal rights groups and won several Human Society awards in recognition of his creative animal rights work.
His daily blog, in which he describes the processes and pitfalls of his cartoons and life in general, has achieved a massive daily audience and is part of the Dali Lama's regular meditation ritual. (according to a comment left on a posting)
Dan's future plans include wealth, therapy, enjoyment, and death.
Legendary artist Peter Max is one of the most successful artists in America today. It was his psychedelic style that first launched his career as an art icon in the '60s and landed him on the cover of Life magazine.
Since then, Max has enjoyed an exciting career as a painter for U.S. presidents Carter, Ford, Bush, Reagan and Clinton.
He is the Official Artist of the Grammys, the World Cup Soccer Tournament, five Super Bowls, the U.S. Tennis Open and the NHL All-Star Game.
Jane Velez-Mitchell hosts HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell", a topical, event-driven show with a wide range of viewpoints.
As a commentator on high-profile cases, Velez-Mitchell has reported for "Celebrity Justice" and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Nancy Grace and other national cable television programs.
Famed musician Nellie McKay is an actress and animal advocate known for her critically acclaimed albums: Get Away From Me, Pretty Little Head, Obligatory Villagers and her role of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, which won her a Theatre World Award.
McKay has opened for Bo Diddley and Sting, dueted with Eartha Kitt, Trey Anastasio and Taj Mahal, shared the stage with Gloria Steinem, Odetta, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper, and other notable musicians.
McKay is also the recipient of the Humane Society's 2005 Doris Day Music Award for her dedication to animal rights.
HBO film producer Tom Simon is a filmmaker, executive producer and television executive, who is responsible for some of the world's top-rated documentary programs, including HBO's Death on a Factory Farm.
Prior to founding Working Dog Productions, Simon served for ten years as vice-president of programming and production, and executive producer of the National Geographic Specials and National Geographic Explorer.
Programs he executive-produced have received over 150 awards for excellence, including a DuPont-Columbia Journalism Award, Peabody Awards and over three dozen Emmys.
Sarah Teale has produced films for HBO, AMC, A&E, PBS, Court TV, and the BBC.
For HBO America Undercover Sarah co-produced Death on a Factory Farm, an undercover investigation into a factory pig farm and Dealing Dogs, an intense look at the world of an undercover animal rights activist. Both films were with Tom Simon.
Sarah is currently producing a film, with Tom Simon, on the Humane Society of the United States' investigation into Petland and the puppy trade for Animal Planet and in 2010, she will be working on the new HBO series on Obesity.
John Phillips is the co-founder and executive director of the New York League of Humane Voters (NYLHV). John is a well-known figure at City Hall and in Albany and a nationally-recognized leader in the animal protection movement.
Hailed by Governor David Paterson (D-NY) as one of the "great animal rights activists" in the U.S., his efforts to pass laws protecting animals have earned him numerous accolades and awards from the U.S. Congress, the New York State Legislature and the New York City Council.
In March 2009, John was named one of the "20 Under 30 Standout Stars" of the animal protection movement by VegNews Magazine, the premier magazine covering vegetarian issues and animal welfare.
Super Size Me co-star and author, Alexandra Jamieson has proven herself to be a wise and profound voice for holistic nutrition and healthy living.
In her book, The Great American Detox Diet, Alex offers advice on how to detox, live healthfully and feel fantastic.
Alex was featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Super Size Me, acting as a messenger for the power of holistic nutrition and healthy detoxing.
Bestselling author Victoria Moran has been changing the world one attitude at a time since 1968 when she stopped eating meat and started on the adventure of compassionate living.
She is the author of ten books, including the bestselling Creating a Charmed Life (in 29 languages and quoted on Celestial Seasoning tea boxes), its brand new sequel, Living a Charmed Life, and her newly republished vegan classic, The Love-Powered Diet: Eating for Freedom, Health, and Joy.
Moran has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, and NPR's All Things Considered.
GirlieGirl Army's Chloé Jo Berman is beyond being a writer, green expert, animal rescue gal, radio host, online personality, yenta, and ethical fashion expert; Chloé Jo has a built-in audience of readers and fans from years of being an NYC local celebrity.
You are as likely to see her front row at a fashion show kissing her fabulous friends, as you are leading a demonstration for a cause she's passionate about.
"Discerning Brute" Joshua Katcher is a self-declared hotshot and jack-of-all-trades. He's an artist, writer, self-taught vegan chef, businessman, activist and television producer living in Brooklyn.
He founded "The Discerning Brute" in 2008 as a resource for intelligent men who want to make ethical, informed decisions concerning their lifestyles.
Joshua is a committed environmentalist, vegan, and social justice advocate.
He has had many notable appearances and interviews with Ecorazzi, On the Verge, Style Me Green, and Super Vegan, and even been gossiped about on Gawker.
Amy Hatkoff is a child and family advocate, parenting educator, filmmaker and author of several books including How to Save the Children, You Are My World and How a Parent's Love Shapes a Baby's Mind. Her newest book, The Inner World of Farm Animals (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Spring, 2009) raises awareness of the capacities of farm animals and makes a plea for their humane and compassionate treatment.
Ms. Hatkoff is one of the producers of Neglect Not The Children, a documentary for public television hosted by Morgan Freeman. Nominated for a New York Emmy and winner of the C.I.N.E. Golden Eagle Award, the film demonstrates how caring programs and individuals can increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for youth at-risk. Ms. Hatkoff has also written articles about parents and children for several publications including Family Magazine and the New York Daily News.
Joy Askew was born and raised in Northern England and relocated to NYC in the early eighties. She played with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson, Rodney Crowell and Joe Jackson as a keyboard player and singer then branched out on her own in the mid nineties with her first released CD "Tender City". Her latest CD "The Pirate of Eel Pie" was released in 2008.
Joy has been an activist on behalf of farm animals since 2004 and has taught Humane Education in schools around the NY area as well as writing songs that will appear in upcoming animal rights films.