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ThanksLiving 2017 Recap

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

More than 250 guests from the tri-state area and beyond gathered at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, NY for a celebration of life and compassion at the 12th annual ThanksLiving gala to help the Sanctuary raise vital funds to continue its lifesaving work for farmed animals.

Peter wakes up from a nap to greet the VIPs on the behind-the-scenes tour.

Nearly one third of the guests this year supported the Sanctuary at the VIP level and participated in a Behind-the-Scenes tour with our Executive Director, Rachel McCrystal, and our Shelter Director, Kathy Keefe. On the tour, VIPs got to spend some time meeting and greeting some of the Sanctuary’s 380 rescues including Hurley’s family, four piglets and their mother who were rescued from horrible neglect earlier this year.

Celebrating our rescued turkeys at ThanksLiving 2017!

The guests of honor, the Sanctuary’s rescued turkeys, took part in the festivities and enjoyed a feast of pumpkin pies made just for them, a tradition now more than a decade old.

Executive Director Rachel McCrystal, Woodstock Warrior honoree Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Board Vice President Dr. Ethan J. Ciment

Board members Dr. Jeannine Cicco and Lita Dwight welcomed guests to our gala and spoke in support of the Sanctuary’s work to promote respect and justice for all living beings. The Sanctuary also presented its first annual Woodstock Warrior awards to honor the activism of community members and honored guests Jane Velez-Mitchell, award-winning journalist and author, and Miriam and Tony Chisholm, co-founders of NY Farm Animal Save.

The Sanctuary’s Executive Director, Rachel McCrystal, presented a preview of the Sanctuary’s year-end video highlighting our rescue, shelter, and advocacy work in 2017 with moving testimonials from our board, volunteers, staff, and supporters.

Our guest chef, Miss Rachel of Miss Rachel’s Pantry in Philadelphia prepared elegant gourmet hors d’oeuvres and a sumptuous three-course meal for guests. Afterwards, guests enjoyed a variety of gorgeous vegan desserts from Maresa Volante, founder of Sweet Maresa’s of the Hudson Valley and co-founder of Confectionery in New York City.

Miss Rachel and her staff prep over 250 delicious appetizers!

Breathtaking vegan desserts by Sweet Maresa’s

Brewing Good brewed up gourmet vegan coffee for guests.

Silent auction packages featured art by local artist Ryan Cronin, a retreat stay at the OMEGA Institute, The Stanford Inn, and more!

Beautiful artwork, high-end fashion items, and exclusive vegan experiences were among the silent auction and raffle items generously donated by Mohonk Mountain House, The Graham & Co., The Daily Show, and more.

Our deepest thanks to all those who participated, volunteered and contributed!

View the full gallery of photos from event photographer Melissa Cacioppo.

Special thanks to our Jean Level sponsor:


Guests also enjoyed gift bags chock full of vegan and sustainable products from LUSH Cosmetics, Faucet Face, HURRAW Balm, VegNews, and more in our eco-friendly vision statement tote bag.



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