As everyone knows, I was able to attend the benefit Ian Somerhalder hosted this past Saturday for St. Tammany Humane Society, and I wanted to give you guys a little recap of my experience. Also, as you know, even though I was already attending this event to support this wonderful cause, I was given the opportunity to represent The Vampire Diaries fandom and presented Ian with a donation in the amount of $11,100 that was raised due to a project Natalie of the-vampirediaires.com started for Ian’s birthday.
Huge thanks to Natalie for choosing me to represent her project and St. Tammany Humane Society’s director, Vaughn Maurice for giving me the wonderful treatment when I got there. I was given my own table for the event, with my name on it and then to top it off, I was also invited to attend the exclusive champagne reception prior to the main event. So I will start with my experience there.
(Thanks to Romancia for this great photo!)
Champagne Reception with Ian
When I first arrived at the champagne reception, I met the wonderful Romancia Love of Romancia Online. She had volunteered to help with the benefit, and had gotten permission to set up a live stream of the reception. I just want to send her a HUGE thanks for doing this. This allowed many fans to experience this who didn’t get a chance to attend the event themselves, and I’m sure they are all forever grateful, because they received an unexpected treat, when Ian walked over during the reception and spoke to everyone, blew kisses, etc. So yeah, a pretty epic moment for the fans. Fortunately, Lisa Capuletco captured a bit of it and uploaded it to youtube. Click HERE to view her page.
Actually, you will see in this video, where I first meet Ian. Romancia had mentioned to the fans that I was right next to him. And he didn’t realize I was there, so I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Hi, I’m Ruthie.” So he leaned over and smacked me on the side of the face with the biggest kiss. So yeah, a pretty amazing first encounter with Ian Somerhalder. Immediately, he started thanking me for everything, and I told him that we had an early birthday present for him, and we would be presenting him with it during the main event. We posed for a few pics, and then he had to go to the main event.
Presenting The Vampire Diaries Donation to Ian and St. Tammany
So, I finally get to the main event, where all my buds (Elizabeth – @ebodin4, Cindy – @cinjudes, Mak – @mak75231, Jasmine – @jasmineszoo & friends) were waiting for me at our table. I was still in shock of finally meeting Ian Somerhalder face to face at the reception, so everyone was checking to make sure I was ok, getting me something to drink and eat. Really these ladies were the sweetest people I’ve ever met and I feel like I have made lifelong friends. So we hang out at the table and I tell them what went down in the reception, then it came time to do the presentation to Ian, and thanks to the lovely Romancia and Vaughn; Elizabeth, Cindy & Mak were allowed to join me on stage.
So, I’m up on stage with Vaughn, the director of St. Tammany Humane Society, he introduces me and hands me the microphone, and then Ian comes up and I present the donation to him. He is completely shocked at the total and lets out a “Holy Cow!” Then lays two whoppers on me. (The one pictured above was for Natalie, ;)) Trust me guys, Ian is truly amazed at what the fandom accomplished. He is so grateful and appreciative of everyone. My dream is for everyone to get a chance to meet him, and experience first hand what an amazing person he is.
(Ian talking to Natalie)
After the presentation, we walk off stage and Ian tells us not leave, because he had to join his mom on stage for something. He is done with that, comes backstage with us. Earlier during the champagne reception, I had asked Ian if he would speak to Natalie, who headed up the birthday project on the phone and he said he would absolutely love to. He even grabbed his phone and said, “What’s her number?” I thought that was really cute. But I explained we had her number and he could use one of our phones. Unfortunately, he was escorted out of the reception before I had the chance to call her, so once back stage with us, we already had her on the phone, and he was excited to talk to her. They chatted for quite a long time. Then once he was done he agrees to snap some pics (his idea) with Mak, Cindy and Elizabeth. More hugs and kisses were given and I thanked him for asking me to be a part of launching his foundation. I told him that whatever he needed me to do, I was there for him. He basically told us about how MUCH fan involvement meant to him & how pivotal it was for this public/fan involvement to continue for the foundation to grow and reach its goals.
So that was pretty much everything that happened. It was an amazing night I will never forget, and I am so excited to continue to support Ian with his foundation and any other projects that he is involved in, or any of the cast for that matter.
Also, speaking of Ian’s foundation. Vampire-Diaries.net was given the opportunity to ask Ian some questions regarding the launch scheduled for December 8th (Ian’s birthday). They were able to answer many questions we have all been asking. Including what organizations the foundation will be working with. I’ve listed them below, and you can head on over and read the rest of the interview at Vampire-Diaries.net.
Conservation International (CI) is one, actually; the IS Foundation was inspired by and partly modeled after CI’s mission. Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.
National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) [@nrdc] [is] an immensely important organization that gathers the facts to encourage legislation to pass in order to protect and properly use our natural resources while finding alternative means of green business and energy practices.
Go Green Mobile Power: They are working to create and use green energy technology harnessing the power of solar, wind and biomass fuels to make clean energy with the impact reducing our carbon emissions globally.
National Wildlife Federation [@nwf] inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. The IS Foundation will strive to protect fauna especially in human-made disasters, as we recently experienced with the BP Gulf Oil spill.
New Leash On Life: This incredible organization rescues dogs and trains them as assistance and therapy dogs for people and children in need. They also are an enormously important partner in assisting the IS Foundation fund and finish research for distribution of species-specific sterilization drugs that will make stray and unwanted animals something of the past.
St. Tammany Human Society [@HumaneStTammany]: One of the largest no-kill shelters in my home of Louisiana. Saving not only stray animals but also assisting in crisis-stricken wildlife management, this humane society is dedicated to saving stray animals and promoting spay and neuter campaigns and laws.
Any organization, business or person committed to creating positive change is invited to reach out and partner with us.
Also, we will have more information to come regarding “Ian’s Birthday Wish” and that “little birdie” we mentioned earlier, has agreed to tell us all about what it is like to work with Ian Somerhalder. So stay tuned!