Animal lovers and country-music fans alike convened at the Southwestern on Maple Avenue for the Humane Hearts Hoedown, a fundraiser and award presentation by the Humane League, an animal nonprofit organization celebrating its first year in Dallas.
Attendees line-danced to tunes spun by guest DJ Sara Tomerlin, while chef John Mercer laid out a meatless spread with hors d'oeuvre, chickn and waffles, vegan cupcakes, and cookies.
Humane League director Ethan Dussault presented the Humane Hero award to Rip Esselstyn, bestselling author of The Engine 2 Diet. DallasVegan founder James Scott won an award for community leadership. University of North Texas graduate Alexandria Beck was acknowledged as "student activist of the year," and Mark McClure was awarded for "rookie of the year."
The Humane League is a nonprofit founded in 2005 that works to reduce cruelty to animals. The organization began in Philadelphia and now has offices in Boston, Maryland, Dallas, Charlotte, Seattle and San Francisco.
Sipping on Tallulah cocktails and noshing on vegan fare were Humane League founder David Coman-Hidy, Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston, Ken Botts, Monica Ailey, Alicia Townsend, Joy Benson, Nikki Dương Koenig, Eddie Garza and Irene Zhou.