Brooke USA Bestows 2021 Crystal Award: Talmadge and Ian Silversides of North Carolina are the Honorees

Brooke USA is pleased to announce that longtime mission supporters and animal advocates, Talmadge and Ian Silversides of Lexington, NC were honored with the Crystal Award at Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo® & White Party, presented by Lugano Diamonds. Due to COVID-19, the Silversides were not present for their recognition which took place at the highly recognized yearly event at the International Polo Club in Wellington, FL.

The Crystal Award is Brooke USA’s most prestigious accolade. It recognizes outstanding champions of the organization who have gone above and beyond in support of its mission to significantly improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys, mules, and the people they serve in the developing world. The individuals honored demonstrate a deep love and commitment to working equines and those who depend on them for survival.

“The Crystal Awards allow us to pay tribute to those individuals who have made an enormous difference in advancing our mission. Talmadge and Ian have been instrumental to our organizational growth, especially in 2020 when we were hit by the pandemic and made a commitment to funding microgrants to organizations in need of feed and medicines for the animals in their care,” said Brooke USA Chair Emeritus Dr. David Jones who introduced the Silversides to Brooke USA.

Devoted civic and community leaders, the Silversides’ have supported several organizations across the globe and in their home state. In addition to Brooke USA, some of their hometown favorites include the North Carolina Zoo, Hospice of Davidson County, Wake Forest Baptist Health, and Davidson-Davie Community College.

Talmadge has noted that traveling with the North Carolina Zoo to Africa has allowed to her observe first-hand the plight of working equines and the impact Brooke USA has had on improving their lives. She explained, “there is nothing more satisfying than being a part of positive change. To see these animals progress from malnourished to well-fed and cared for is great proof that Brooke USA is funding projects that are making a difference among those who need it most. A healthy, happy working horse or donkey is able to provide for their owners.”

Katherine Kaneb, Chair of Brooke USA’s Board of Directors, added that “working equines fetch water at remote rivers, transport produce to sell at local markets and take children to school. These animals are essential to those living in poverty. The work of these animals is most evident in India, where today they are suffering from malnutrition and lack of healthcare due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Brooke USA is continuing to raise funds to help during this emergency.”

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Talmadge and Ian Silversides join Margaret Hamilton Duprey, Katherine Kaneb, and Claudine and Fritz Kundrun who received the award in 2019, and Antonia Axön Johnson, Richard Schechter, and Hazel and Richard Schultz who received the award in 2020. The efforts of all these outstanding people help make a difference alleviating the suffering of some of the 100 million equines working in the developing world to support the livelihoods of 600 million people.

Photo of the Silversides for publication use available at:

About Brooke USA: The mission of Broke USA is to significantly improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules, and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and the Caribbean by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.

 Brooke USA does this through a holistic approach to funding which includes capacity building, sustainability programming, female empowerment, and international advocacy. Brooke USA connects private philanthropists with their passion for helping relieve the suffering of working equines and their owners.

For more information, contact:
Emily Dulin

Kendall Bierer


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