Ian Somerhalder: 'Vampire Diaries' Actor to be the Celebrity Monarch at the 20th Annual Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws Dog Parade on March 9

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | March 6, 2014 3:19 PM EST

Heartthrob actor Ian Somerhalder recently enjoyed the 2014 Mardi Gras in New Orleans and he will be coming back for more to show his love for animals, particularly dogs, with the 20th annual Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws dog parade on Sunday, March 9. The "Vampire Diaries" star will serve as the Celebrity Monarch of the event in Mandeville together with the 8-year-old Grand Marshall Emily Whitehead.  

The Times-Picayune Greater New Orleans has been reporting about Ian Somerhalder's involvement in the Mardi Paws parade since February 2014. According to one of the Web site's report, the "Vampire Diaries" actor's connection to the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws came through his foundation, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF).

The report reads: "The goals of the Foundation and those of Mardi Paws coalesce on Sunday (March 9) as the foundation sponsors the parade that benefits the local nonprofits Have a Heart Thru Art, which provides access to art for underprivileged and disabled children; the St. Tammany Spay and Neuter Group, which provides spay/neuter services to low-income pet owners and rescue animals; and Scott's Wish."

Denise Gutnisky, the Mardi Paws organizer, shared that Mr Somerhalder's generosity of helping his hometown should not be disregarded. "It's very unusual for someone with his popularity and fame to give his time so freely to so many organizations," Ms Gutnisky stated.

The organizer further added that fans will be able to see Ian Somerhalder during the parade's one-mile route since the actor refused the Krewe's motorized vehicle transport. "Ian insisted on walking. The bike path is 8 feet wide, so the crowd will be pretty darn close ... no matter where you are along the parade route, you will get a great photo of him," Denise Gutnisky shared.

Another special guest at the 2014 Mardi Paws is Grand Marshall Emily Whitehead who will be next to Ian Somerhalder at the event. Kari Whitehead, Emily's mom, revealed that her daughter has no idea that Ian Somerhalder is the famous star of the CW TV series "The Vampire Diaries."

"She doesn't know who Ian is. She's a little young yet, so she's more interested in the cute dogs," Kari Whitehead shared. Another report revealed that Emily Whitehead has battled leukemia through experimental treatments and the young girl got invited at the 2014 Mardi Paws because of Scott's Wish, one of the charities that will benefit from the event.

Scott's Wish is a charity group that helps those who are suffering with leukemia as well as other diseases. "I'm excited about being in the parade especially to see the cute dogs dressed up in costumes," Emily Whitehead stated.

The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws parade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 9, at 2 pm along the Mandeville lakefront. Details on the upcoming event can be found at this link: www.MardiPaws.com  

More Articles to Read:

Ian Somerhalder: 'Vampire Diaries' Actor Had Fun Throwing Beads Together with 'The Walking Dead' Actor Norman Reedus at the 2014 Mardi Gras in New Orleans - [READ]

'Vampire Diaries' Season 5 Spoilers: Who is Going To Kill The Elusive Katherine Pierce? Watch Promo Video For Upcoming Episode 15 Titled 'Gone Girl' - [READ]

Paul Wesley: 'Vampire Diaries' Actor Had a Gun Pulled on Him, Reacts on Twitter About Gun Laws - [READ]

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(Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djsnsezian / )
Actor Ian Somerhalder arrives at the 2014 People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California January 8, 2014.
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