On her talk show last week, Southampton foodie Rachael Ray presented fellow South Forker Beth Ostrosky Stern with a check for $500,000. The funds will be donated to two of Stern’s favorite animal welfare charities, the North Shore Animal League and Bianca’s Furry Friends.
A staunch animal advocate, Ray names Beth and Howard Stern, also huge animal lovers and advocates, among her very good friends. The large check represented Ray’s personal proceeds thus far from her Nutrish for Cats cat food brand, launched earlier this year.
Named in honor of the Sterns’ beloved cat, Bianca’s Furry Friends is an initiative the famous couple has been working on with the North Shore Animal League to build a state-of-the-art, 14,000-square-foot adoption center for cats. The center will feature cage-free surroundings, outdoor habitats, grooming and adoption facilities, a 24-hour-care nursery, a respiratory ward, surgical suite and a recovery room—all as part of a new second floor at the North Shore Animal League’s Port Washington facility.
North Shore Animal League notes on their website that the new center will not only help cats, but dogs as well, because it will open extra space in the existing facility.
Ray’s donation, and Beth Stern’s appearance on her show, also coincide with the release of Stern’s new children’s book, Yoda: The Story of a Cat and His Kittens. Illustrated bypublished on November 18. The book tells the true tale of Yoda, a “very special cat” rescued by the Sterns. Initially very shy, skinny and matted, Yoda evolved into an Instagram sensation who now still busies himself with caring for the many orphan kittens fostered by the Sterns. Yoda has a serious heart condition, but he has made a miraculous turnaround, and is healthier and thriving more than doctors thought possible.
All of Beth Stern’s proceeds from the book will be donated to Bianca’s Furry Friends. It is available on Amazon.com here.