Philanthropic A-listers gathered in Beverly Hills to celebrate the unique beauty and fragility of Africa’s wildlife
Words by MARIE LOOK
Global conservation organization WildAid held its annual fundraising gala on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, where Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and Angermeyer Cruises CEO Fiddi Angermeyer were honored for their contributions to the cause.
Themed “A Night in Africa,” the evening welcomed such guests as AnnaLynne McCord, Thomas Middleditch, Maggie Q, Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse, and included a keynote by actor Djimon Hounsou, who spoke of the positive roles some African nations have played in protecting local wildlife. “In my native country of Benin, we have one of the few remaining lion populations in the beautiful park of Pendjari. It is my deepest hope that Africa’s wildlife (which is part of our history and a deep part of our culture) continues to be an essential part of our future,” Hounsou said.
Nyong’o accepted her award via video message as guests John Corbett, Taylor Dwayne, Bo Derek, Mena Massoud, Jennifer Tilly and Jonathan Tucker looked on. Nyong’o expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to have partnered with WildAid and to learn more about elephants and the ivory trade when she visited Kenya with the organization in 2015. “The work of WildAid is so important because it is a reeducation, a reorientation of the value of nature to us,” Nyong’o said. “What they are doing is making a huge difference in raising awareness on behalf of elephants, on behalf of wildlife, and on behalf of human beings as well. It’s for our own good.”
The gala also featured enthralling performances by The Cirque and Compton Kidz Club; a vegetarian dinner by the Beverly Wilshire; and silent and live auctions that included luxury lots and one-of-a-kind experiences.
Feature image: WILDAID’s gala at the BEVERLY WILSHIRE, A FOUR SEASONS HOTEL. Photo by Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages.
Nov. 12, 2019
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