The Animal Medical Center, the largest non-profit animal hospital in the country, honored three-time Tony recipient Bernadette Peters, a devoted advocate for animal welfare and co-creator of Broadway Barks, at its annual Top Dog Gala December 11. Peters was presented with the Brooke Astor Award.
Additional honorees included the U.S. Coast Guard Canine Teams and Fred, a stray dog from Afghanistan, and Craig, the Marine who rescued him.
The Top Dog Gala raised $1.75 million to benefit the Animal Medical Center’s non-profit mission of research, education, and charitable giving to animals in need.
Guests at the benefit, held at Cipriani 42nd Street, included Peters’ Sunday in the Park With George co-star Mandy Patinkin, Elaine and Kenneth Langone, Dr. Henry and Nancy Kissinger, Katharine Rayner, Lisa and David Schiff, Donna and Bill Acquavella, Barbara and Robert Liberman, and Emilia Krimendahl. Tony winner Patinkin surprised the crowd with a rendition of “The Dog Song” from Sunday in the Park with George.
“We are honored to present the Brooke Astor Award to Bernadette Peters because she truly represents the enormous impact that one individual can have on the lives of animals in need,” said Kathryn Coyne, CEO at AMC. “Throughout her life, Bernadette has committed time, energy, and her own voice to support the cause of animal welfare. Her amazing Broadway Barks event, now in its 20th year, benefits shelter animals throughout the NYC area, and has resulted in over 2,000 adoptions since its founding. AMC is also proud to honor several canines and celebrate the unique bond that exists between all these special canines and their handlers.”
“I’ve devoted much of my life to animal welfare, and I am a champion of the Animal Medical Center. When an animal walks through the doors of the AMC, they receive the gold standard of care, which is what I believe all animals deserve. As an animal lover, this honor is deeply moving, and I am so thrilled to stand here tonight as an ardent supporter of this one-of-a-kind institution,” added Peters.
“The Brooke Astor Award was created to recognize an individual who, in word and deed, emulates Mrs. Astor’s ideals and values to preserve and protect the human-animal bond, and Bernadette Peters is a true inheritor of Brooke’s legacy. Bernadette’s passion for and steadfast commitment to helping animals is second only to her generous spirit,” stated Robert Liberman, chairman, AMC’s Board of Trustees.
Check out photos from the evening below:
VIP Ticket: Inside the Top Dog Gala Honoring Bernadette Peters