Kaitlin Banks Staff Writer @Banksxo16 Mardi Gras just got a little hotter –and furrier! The Vampire Diaries star, Ian Somerhalder, has been selected as the Celebrity Monarch for the annual Mardi Paws celebration. Mardi Paws is a parade that features nearly 400 dogs and their caretakers, and fundraises for three charities: Have a Heart thru Art, Scott’s Wish, and the St. Tammany Spay & Neuter Group. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which “works to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and all of its creatures,” is serving as one of the sponsors for the event this year. The “Live from the Red CarPET” themed event will be celebrating 20 years of canine-related philanthropy. “Somerhalder is the perfect choice for the role of Celebrity Monarch of a Carnival canine romp,” says Captain Denise Gutinsky. She added, “Ian's generosity lending a hand in his hometown should not be overlooked. It's very unusual for someone with his popularity and fame to give his time so freely to so many organizations." All the four-legged fun will take place on March 9 in Mandeville, Louisiana!
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