Her Academy Award-winning performances in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby have moved movie audiences to tears, but on May 3rd it was actress Hilary Swank’s real life role as a person with a passion for compassion which touched hearts as she accepted the Hope Award at the sixth annual Petco Foundation Hope Gala.
CBS New 8 reports that the ‘swank’ soiree at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel– which also included couture-conscious adoptable canines on the catwalk in a Rescues and Runway fashion show, dinner and live musical entertainment for a crowd of more than 750 attendees– raised over $600,000, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Hilaroo Foundation, established by the star (and named in part in loving memory of her late dog, Karoo, who was saved from life on the streets of South Africa by the actress) to help both underprivileged children and animals in need.
Taking to Twitter for the first time on the day of the event, the star stated:
The Hilaroo Foundation will help change the path of a soul by bringing youth & animals who have been given up on together 2 heal each other
— Hilary Swank (@HilarySwank) May 4, 2014
Swank, who attended the event with her rescued Rover Kai, was the latest in a line of animal-loving luminaries to be honored with the coveted accolade. Previous recipients include Ellen DeGeneres, Betty White and Lily Tomlin.
The following CBS News 8 video offers a look at the fundraiser:
Photo Credit: Petco Foundation