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Star-Studded WildAid Gala Dazzles Beverly Hills

Actor Josh Duhamel Presented with Wildlife Champion Award Saturday, November 11 at Charity's Annual Fundraising Gala in Los Angeles

WildAid, the global nonprofit organization leading the fight to end the illegal wildlife trade, held its annual fundraising gala, "An Evening With WildAid," Saturday, November 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.

WildAid is the only group to focus exclusively on reducing demand for illegal wildlife products through public awareness campaigns. With the simple message "When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too," WildAid works with government, business and media partners as well as celebrities and high profile individuals to advocate consumer change.

Bo Derek

"An Evening With WildAid" brought out celebrities including Josh Duhamel, Bo Derek, Maggie Q, Dylan McDermott, John Corbett, Cassidy Freeman, Tricia Helfer, Donna D'Errico, Kristin Bauer, Thomas Gibson, Jonathan Tucker, Violett Beane, Laura Linda Bradley, Olesya Rulin, Jackie Siegal, Jeb Corliss, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, Alvester Martin and many more.

The event's sponsors included the TOMS Animal Initiative, Guthy-Renker, Dunstan Wines and China Eastern Airlines. 

Grammy award winning producer David Foster (pictured) provided the musical entertainment with special guest performances by Katharine McPhee (pictured), Pia Toscano, Brenna Whitaker, Nathan Granner and Rogelio Douglas, Jr.

The gala raised $2.9 million for WildAid's global programs, which focus on reducing demand for endangered species products, protecting fragile marine habitats, and promoting climate-friendly transport and food systems. 

"We had an amazing night beyond our expectations in raising funds to power forward our campaigns," said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.

Entertainment Tonight correspondent Keltie Knight presented actor Josh Duhamel with the 2017 Wildlife Champion Award.

Duhamel has been an advocate for WildAid filming several public service announcements for the organization and using his celebrity status on social media to engage new audiences and to spread awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and its devastating impacts on endangered species worldwide.

"An Evening With WildAid" featured a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception with silent auction. Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner by James Beard award-winning chef Tracey Des Jardins, owner of San Francisco's famed Jardiniere, and Mary Sue Milliken, co-chef/owner of Border Grill restaurants and trucks. 

A highlight of the gala was WildAid CEO Peter Knights' introduction of the organization's new programs to protect endangered species and marine habitats.

Knights also shared campaigns featuring WildAid's portfolio of celebrity ambassadors, which includes Josh Duhamel, Lupita Nyong'o, Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, HRH Prince William, Leonardo DiCaprio, Maggie Q, the cast of the Walking Dead and many others.