By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter
Palisadian Karen Dawn has big plans for this year’s upcoming holiday season.
Known around town for her annual front lawn turkeys, Dawn’s newly minted nonprofit organization, DawnWatch, is preparing to host its first Turkey Pardoning Party on Nov. 4.
For the past nine Thanksgivings, Dawn has rescued two turkeys that would have otherwise been destined for the slaughterhouse, giving the birds residence in her yard before finding them a permanent farm sanctuary.
But last year’s lucky birds, Ellie and Tracey, never did make it to the farm and instead have found a home in Dawn’s Village Bluffs’ backyard, laden with citrus trees and plenty of pecking room—if only we could all be so lucky.
The two turkeys will be earning their keep during November’s event, which will host a beer, wine and cocktail bar, all-vegan fare, and a red carpet ceremony, complete with plenty of turkey-themed photo opportunities.
Dawn told the Palisadian-Post that the event will be raising money to host next year’s Dawn Watch Media Awards and Gala in honor of the late Genesis Awards founder Gretchen Wyler.
Once aired from the Beverly Hills Hilton, the Genesis Awards is an annual event that honors individuals in the entertainment and news media industries who raise awareness of animal conservation and protection issues.
Past Genesis Awards hosts include Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Maher and Betty White, but since 2015, the live ceremony has been discontinued and restructured into an online announcement presented by the Humane Society.
“Gretchen will always be one of my greatest mentors,” Dawn explained. “I’d like to see her vision brought back to life.”
Although DawnWatch only garnered nonprofit status last year, Dawn’s media alert website and animal rescue mission was first established in 1999 as a way to encourage and facilitate positive coverage of animal rights issues in the media.
A former writer and media researcher for Australia’s ABC “7:30 Report,” Dawn’s ultimate goal is to open an animal rights media complex in the neighboring Topanga mountains.
The night is scheduled to bring out a star-studded roster of animal rights activists, including filmmakers Brian Wendel and Amy Ziering, actors Denise Crosby, Bruce Greenbaum and Lily Tomlin, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, and 50th District Assemblymember Richard Bloom, who has been honored with the duty of granting Ellie and Tracey their official pardons.
Also in attendance will be ABC Producer Elaine Hogue, who will be presented with the organization’s first ever media award.
Gearing up for the possibility of over 100 guests, Dawn told the Post that the fine wine- and fowl-studded fundraiser promises to provide a spirited outlet fit for building new community friendships.
“I created DawnWatch because I wanted to devote my life to helping those who have no way to help themselves,” she said. “We have so many wonderful activists and caring people in the Palisades—this will be a great opportunity for us all to get together and meet each other.”
For more information or to purchase early bird tickets to the Nov. 4 event, visit dawnwatch.com/events.
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