Paws for Celebration 11th Anniversary
After leaving the beautiful state of Maryland, I could not help but reflect on where I was this time last year attending #LunasHouse #PawsforCelebration What a difference a year makes and how very blessed I feel today to have been invited back.
This year I was asked to be their guest speaker, continuing my support of their incredible Animal Sanctuary, in Edgewood, Maryland.
As I stood up to speak in front of this very large and incredibly gracious group of fellow animal lovers, I thought a lot about what I wanted to say and express. Something that has been heavy on my mind over the past year was how success and celebrity can benefit philanthropy. There are so many examples of how each and every celebrity or person of wealth donates their time, energy & money to different causes, but what does actually move the needle and makes a difference for these charities?
A few years back, I was fortunate to attend Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey. It was a unique year where the NFL put all the celebrities together in their largest suite. The rooms was filled with serious A-List talent and even President Clinton stopped by and watched the game with all of us. As we gathered around to watch the monitors, one of the multi-million dollar commercials came on that caught our attention. Now, most Super Bowl commercials are intended to be funny but this specific commercial was for United States Military Veterans. And it was paid for by no other than Wounded Warriors. Most of the room of talent knew that I served my country in the Marines and next thing I know I’m being asked what I thought about the commercial? Well, my first instinct was to be honest and so I spoke my mind. “Why did Wounded Warriors just spend millions of dollars on advertising when all that money could have gone to those men and women in uniform that need it the most?”
Now, I don’t have the details of how all that was paid for or why Wounded Warriors felt they needed to advertise. I’m not a part of their organization nor do I sit on the board. I do not understand the inner workings of such a large charity, but as I got up to speak Saturday night at the Paws for Celebration event, it made me realize the importance each celebrity, no matter how big or small, has for these smaller charity organizations around the word.
So many individuals came up to thank me for coming to Luna’s House and were truly shocked that I would again travel from Los Angeles to a small little town in Maryland to give my time to support such a little known charity. The truth is, I never thought about it like that. It occurred to me in that moment that the wee bit of success and fame that I have received in my life, has partially help keep Luna’s House afloat the past year. But what has really been the heart and soul of Luna’s House is Lisa & Nevin Randle. They have made it their lives mission to give back. They help daily, nurture these amazing creatures, giving them a home while finding them a home. It cost nearly 23k a month to keep Luna’s House loving animal sanctuary afloat.
Lisa performs double-duty full time responsibilities at LH and Nevin Randle has taught elementary school for the past 16 years in order to keep Luna’s House doors open. Every single month they fight and scratch to make sure there home stays open so that so many misplaced creatures are loved and cared for daily.
Then there are these incredible and lovely volunteers that work at LH:
Jen Weber (cheats at UNO … FYI), Kristie Parker, Emily Surany, Tammy Brinkman & Melissa Newberry
Without their love, support and dedication LH just would not be able to do all that it does! Thank you all for all that you do and to the others that I missed, god love ya.
When Arm the Animals (ATA) was first created, we had one mission in mind. We wanted to help carry on the legacy of Matthew Heinemeyer’s sister, Karen Heinemeyer, who devoted her life to animal welfare. Matt created a few killer t-shirts, I got them on the backs of some incredibly talented and generous artists. We raised enough funds to keep two small charity organizations, Barks of Love & Strangest Angels, up and running. After 7 years these rescues are thriving with our support. We’ve not only been able to donate to their organizations but we have managed to produce a documentary, Extinction Soup, to help save sharks from extinction, raise enough funds to protect the tribe of Cecile the Lion, who was murdered by poachers and help protect the Rhinos, gorillas, elephants and so many different species that man has ignorantly murdered for sports over generations and generations.
All of this started with a very small goal in mind and a minimal amount of success.
Over the past few years ATA has helped out and donated where they can but there is always more that needs to be done.
I’ve made it my mission in 2018 to help bring a corporate sponsor to Luna’s House as well as get more celebrities who want to see their active involvement actually make a noticeable difference.
I left Maryland with my heart full and want to say thank you to so many of the individuals who donated their time and gave so generously to Luna’s House.
I look forward to May 4th of 2019 and keeping the momentum going for each and every one of these beautiful creatures that touch our lives daily.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge these individuals and business’s that continue to dig deep and give all they can to make a difference:
Nelson & Mary Ellen Herman
Keith Gold, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine)
Whitney & Dave Wurtz
Chadwell Animal Hospital
Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT)
Harvest Fare Supermarket
I look forward to seeing you all next year and truly hope that I can come back with a corporate sponsor and fellow animal loving celebrity friend who can help raise greater awareness.
God Bless each of you & Luna’s House!