Events — 24 October 2012
Pam Anderson, Russell Simmons, Joan Jett Attend NYCLASS Gala Event

Blog: NYCLASS Gala 2012 at Edison Ballroom

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Tuesday night, the stars descended upon the Theater District to walk the red carpet at the chic Edison Ballroom to support an important cause that many of us take for granted. New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, & Safe Streets of NYCLASS held a celebrity studded Gala event in a working effort to help ban New York City’s carriage horses. Working with the ASPCA, NYCLASS has managed to move more than 200 of the city’s horses from touristy rides in unsafe and downright dangerous conditions to permanent homes with the guarantee that they will not be slaughtered. Historically, the use of horses for transportation was a necessity, but in 2012 the rides are inhumane and deplete these animals’ quality of life.

With the laudable cause at stake, the evening was titled “A Night of New York Class” with the focus on advocacy for animal rights. The evening’s esteemed honorees would be actresses Kathy Najimy (Sister Act, The Wedding Planner) and Kristen Johnson (3rd Rock from the Sun) for their efforts in fighting against animal cruelty. Emceeing the evening’s program and festivities would be buxom beauty, activist, and actress Pamela Anderson, donning a skimpy and revealing gold dress in her walk down the red carpet. Despite remaining a bit removed from the spotlight in recent years, the rows of paparazzi were falling all over each other in the midst of a thousand flashbulbs to capture a glimpse of the iconic Canadian blonde, who was accompanied by PETA Senior Vice President Dan Matthews and the tough as nails Hell’s Angel, Chuck Zito.

The list of celebrities out for the cause didn’t end there however as entrepreneur and mogul Russell Simmons was among the first to arrive, arm in arm with beautiful girlfriend, Hana Nitsche. Joan Jett was also on hand for an especially intimate performance for the lucky attendees. Other notables included NBC New York anchor Chuck Scarborough, Mad Men’s John Slattery and wife, actress Talia Balsam, Miss USA Olivia Culpo, drag queen Lady Bunny, and model Kaki West, in support of NYCLASS. With a wildly successful event, now in our rear view, it’s certainly time to take note the next time you see a couple being dragged through Central Park by a horse, likely to have been improperly cared for. For more information on NYCLASS and for ways you can get involved or to make a donation, check out NYCLASS.ORG.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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(4) Readers Comments

  1. This statement: “Working with the ASPCA, NYCLASS has managed to move more than 200 of the city’s horses from touristy rides in unsafe and downright dangerous conditions to permanent homes with the guarantee that they will not be slaughtered.” is patently false.

    The ASPCA and NYCLASS have done no such thing – what Ed Sayres, soon to be former CEO of the ASPCA and co-founder and co-president of NYCLASS, and Steve Nislick, co-founder and co-president of NYCLASS, have done is lied. They have lied about the conditions of the horses, they have lied about their work, their homes, and their owners. They have lied and schemed to try and take privately owned, well-cared for, well-regulated animals away from their owners.

    Why would they do this you may ask? I’ll tell you why: Steve Nislick is a real estate developer who wants the land the carriage stables currently occupy. This has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with money and real estate. It’s really that simple.

    Did you know that the ASPCA donated over $450,000 between 2008-2011 to NYCLASS? How is it that the ASPCA, a not-for-profit, is giving $450,000 to a wealthy real estate developer? How is it not a conflict of interest that the ASPCA is charged with overseeing the NYC carriage horses but is also actively working to ban them? You should read the accusations of a former ASPCA inspector, Henry Ruiz, about the ASPCA’s agenda as far as the carriage horses are concerned: http://tinyurl.com/dx6kown

    Did you know that Steve Nislick, CEO of Edison Properties, the parent company of Edison ParkFast and Manhattan Mini Storage, via Manhattan Mini Storage, gave PETA $125,000 to run Lea Michele’s anti-carriage-horse campaign in Jan 2011?

    The New York City carriage horses are some of the most regulated animals in this country. The fact there has never been a citation for abuse, mistreatment or cruelty, even with an awful lot of folks looking for it (including the ASPCA which supports a ban), speaks volumes.

    Now, really, do you still think this has anything to do with the horses?

  2. “It’s certainly time to take note the next time you see a couple being dragged through Central Park by a horse, likely to have been improperly cared for..”

    Statements like that just make you, Ms. Van Arsdale, seem biased and misinformed. Carriage horses aren’t dragging anything. Through the miracle of physics, a horse can easily pull a wheeled carriage with passengers, just like I can easily pull my grandchildren in their little red wagon, but take off the wheels and it would be an effort.

    And why would I or anyone assume the horses are improperly cared for? I walked Central Park South five days a week for a year from 8th Ave to Lexington, and the horses looked alert, healthy, well groomed, friendly, calm and well mannered. It seems that the biggest problem with the NYC carriage horses is that somebody wants the real estate they spend their nights on. Well, then there’s the support for the ban from PETA, a group that wants to sever all relationships between animals of any kind and people. My research on those issues, back to credible sources, was easy to do, as opposed to your claims of mistreatment of which I find no factual evidence.

  3. Wow, truly appreciate the spirited feedback. Thanks for reading the article and sharing your views with us, despite them being contrary to the piece and our red carpet coverage. Your arguments are both fair and compelling.

  4. Enjoyed the coverage and of course all the highlights/celebrities surrounding the red carpet event. Kinda of surprised at some of the feedback etc.,Controversial events always involve different thoughts and perspectives.