Ian Somerhalder, star of the CW’s hit show The Vampire Diaries and founder of the aptly named Ian Somerhalder Foundation, will be presented with the Wyler Award by the Humane Society of the United States at the upcoming Genesis Awards.
For the uninitiated, the Wyler Award “is bestowed on a celebrity or public figure for raising awareness of animal issues via the media.”
Somerhalder -- who to those of us Losties will always be Boone Carlyle -- is receiving the prestigious award for spreading the good word via various forms of media on issues ranging from shark finning to the Canadian seal hunt.
“Ian is the epitome of a new kind of advocate who leverages his fame and an array of media platforms to draw public attention to animal protection concerns and other issues that he cares deeply about,” says Beverly Kaskey, senior director of The HSUS’s Hollywood Outreach and executive producer of the annual Genesis Awards. “From addressing Congress to making TV appearances to regularly blogging to informing his million-plus followers on Twitter, Ian is a major voice and force for animals and a most deserving recipient of The Wyler Award.”
In response to receiving the honor Somerhalder said, "The tireless efforts of The Humane Society of the United States to protect animals around the world has always been an inspiration to me and I’m honored to be recognized with this year’s Wyler Award."
Somerhalder joins an impressive list of celebrities who have won the distinguished award including Sir Paul McCartney, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
The 26th Genesis Awards will take place Saturday, March 24, and will air on Animal Planet in May.