mikehazell

Betty White, an Olympic gold medalist, a “Real Housewife from Beverly Hills”, and Sparky the Fire Dog – a Hollywood red carpet event to remember

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Oct 8, 2012

I’ve been to Los Angeles a couple of times before, but never to a star-studded Hollywood event. But there I was Saturday night, standing along the red carpet, jostling for space with other photographers and camera crews vying to capture the attention of the dozens of celebrities who attended theAmerican Humane Association’s “Hero Dog Awards” event.

Held at the Beverly Hilton (home of the annual Golden Globe awards), the second annual awards ceremony was created to recognize America’s most courageous canines – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things - saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight, hearing, or medical assistance to  human companions, unselfishly aiding law enforcement, arson investigators, and search and rescue workers, or providing uncompromising love and compassion as therapy dogs. 

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Media gathers along the red carpet, awaiting the start of the American Humane Association event.

NFPA crew
The NFPA crew gathers in the lobby of the Beverly Hilton before the red carpet event. From left: Steve Dornbusch, NFPA Senior Project Manager, Lorraine Carli, NFPA Vice President of Communications, Tim LaGasse, puppet designer and the puppeteer who brings Sparky the Fire Dog® to life, and Mike Hazell, NFPA Web Publisher. 

Held at the Beverly Hilton (home of the annual Golden Globe awards), the second annual awards ceremony was created to recognize America’s most courageous canines – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things - saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight, hearing, or medical assistance to  human companions, unselfishly aiding law enforcement, arson investigators, and search and rescue workers, or providing uncompromising love and compassion as therapy dogs.

Earlier this year, a call for “hero dogs” was issued by the American Humane Association, and dogs competed in eight categories. After more than 3 million online votes, the winner of each category were flown to California with their human friends in hopes of being named the 2012 American Hero Dog.

Joining the eight nominated dogs on the red carpet was Sparky the Fire Dog®, who served as “Official Spokesdog” for the event. “Sparky has been a hero to children, adults, and firefighters for more than 60 years,” said Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “He is a natural choice to help us celebrate the amazing things dogs do to help us every day that warrant recognition.”

Sparky was created for NFPA in 1951 and has been the official mascot of NFPA ever since. He is widely recognized as a fire and life safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons or materials featuring his image. 

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Sparky was escorted down the red carpet by Tim LaGasse, a Los Angeles-based puppeteer who created a special Sparky puppet for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign. 

P1080175COMING UP: As part of a series of special posts during Fire Prevention Week, we'll be showcasing lots more photos and write-ups from the American Humane Association's "Hero Dog Award" ceremony in Los Angeles. We'll detail our very special encounter with Betty White, meeting lots of celebrities on the red carpet, and reminding everyone to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. Remember: Have 2 Ways Out.

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