The focus in New York on Thursday night wasn’t all on the Democratic debate in Brooklyn. Back in Manhattan, the ASPCA Bergh Ball had convened at the Plaza Hotel and guests — Martha Stewart, Drew Barrymore, Mark Ronson, Christian Siriano, Wes Gordon, Jessica Hart — were taking turns posing on the orange carpet with several of the dogs up for adoption.
Georgina Bloomberg originally got involved with the ASPCA as an equine welfare ambassador and has been a board member for the past two years. “I have six dogs right now, a pet pig, a pet goat, and then we have a bunch of rescue horses as well,” she said of her stable. “The pig and the goat stay out in the country — pigs aren’t allowed in New York City, which makes no sense because they’re smarter and better behaved than some people.”
Speaking of which — has Bloomberg thrown her support behind any of the presidential nominees? “I’ve taken a lot of joy in not having to be involved with politics right now, so honestly not,” she said. It was a close call, since her father, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was considering a bid earlier this year. “I’m not registered with a party, so I can kind of wait and see what happens. I think a lot could happen between now and November, so we’ll see,” his daughter said.
Siriano was a little more decisive about his political stance. “I am a big fan of Hillary [Clinton]. I love her, I like what she stands for, just as a person in general as well,” said the designer, who was a few days away from launching his first bridal collection and had come out to the event with Brad Walsh. “Hopefully we get to watch [the debate] later.”
Nathan Lane hosted the event, which raised nearly $1.4 million. “Tonight is a very special milestone because this month we also celebrate the ASPCA’s 150th birthday,” the actor told the crowd during dinner. “In April 1866, Henry Bergh saw the terrible abuse of animals around him and said enough is enough. One hundred fifty years later, I bet he would be so proud to not only see how far this organization has come, but that there’s a very real chance an orangutan may win the Republican presidency.” The crowd roared. “Oh, oh a Trump fan? OK, I’ll speak slow,” Lane said.
The ball also honored Barrymore for her animal activism. The actress and entrepreneur began adopting rescue dogs when she was 19 years old.
“You have a relationship with pets, with animals, that is unspoken, it is without words,” Barrymore told the crowd. “There is such profoundness in just the connectivity and energy and altruism that we have with our animals, especially rescue animals, and they feel it back. There’s some level of symbiotic gratitude because you do save each other,” she continued. “I give them all the credit in the world and for it they will forever have my deepest respect.”
Afterwards, the actress held up her cat-head shaped auction paddle to bid on a trip to Turks and Caicos. For $19,000, she had the winning bid.