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January 13th, 2016   Ian News, Ian Somerhalder Foundation 0

Newlywed actors Ian Somerhalder (“Vampire Diaries”) and Nikki Reed (“Twilight”) have been announced as this year’s Celebrity Grand Monarchs of Mandeville’s annual parade of dolled-up pooches, Mardi Paws.

As usual, the foot-and-paw march along the Mandeville Lakefront will happen several days after the close of the “official” Mardi Gras season. This year’s parade is scheduled for February 14, Valentine’s Day.

Both actors profess a love for animals, and Louisiana native Somerhalder maintains an active involvement with the north shore community where he was raised. He grew up in Covington and is a graduate of St. Paul’s School.

Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws Captain Denise Gutnisky hopes Somerhalder’s charity will someday call this popular carnival-season puppy its own. Gutnisky sees a near future where she is “passing the baton” to the “Vampire Diaries” and “Lost” actor and his Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF), which focuses on animal welfare and environmental issues.

“The parade is a perfect fit for Ian’s foundation,” Gutnisky said, adding that future plans of the ISF may involve bringing Mardi Paws parades to locations “around the world.”

Although Gutnisky said final decisions have not been made, the canine carnival royalty of Mardi Paws being in the hands of tinseltown royalty starting in 2017 isn’t much of a stretch.

“The parade’s main beneficiary will be ISF, and the hope is to make it a permanent partnership to support his (Somerhalder’s) vision of his sanctuary on the north shore,” Gutnisky said.

In late 2014, the actor’s foundation purchased 100 acres of land, situated near the Lacombe/Mandeville border. Gutnisky said Somerhalder plans to preserve just under 70 acres and use approximately 30 acres for support of “the creature population, youth, and other community needs.”

The ISF website features a video of the actor walking among the cypress knees and mossy oak trees of his new property, and paddling a boat through a murky St. Tammany bayou.


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The Vampire Diaries
Ian as Damon Salvatore
The vampire brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore, eternal adolescents, having been leading 'normal' lives, hiding their bloodthirsty condition, for centuries, moving on before their non-aging is noticed. They are back in the Virginia town where they became vampires. Stefan is noble, denying himself blood to avoid killing, and tries to control his evil brother Damon.
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The Anomaly
Ian as Harkin Langham
A former soldier is taken captive and awakens in the back of a van where he learns that he only has a few moments to figure out how he got there.
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The Vampire Diaries Family
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The Ian Somerhalder Foundation
Ian is extremely passionate about animal rights, and has even set up his own foundation to help raise awareness for the protection of animals all over the world. Visit The ISFoundation to find out more!
"The IS FOUNDATION aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures."
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