Debbie’s Week Out East: Looking toward the end of the rainbow

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A brief, beautiful, optimistic rainbow.

This was Debbie’s Girl Scout Week. I learned how to be kinder; I supported animals in need, cleaned up a beach; and am inching closer to making Bear part of the family. I will explain.

What a perfect way to begin (or to gird) oneself for the weekend, with a panel on how to be kinder, more centered; saner. I had a list of 300 whom I thought could use it, but it was a tidy, small group of the truly interested. Hosted by Karen Mehiel, owner of Five Pillars Yoga, at her beautiful, Southampton home. It featured three speakers with different approaches but with the same goals.

Kindness Kamp.

The Ladies of Hope Ministries founder, Topeka K. Sam, told us of her incarceration and the spiritual path that saved her and now have saved many others.  Whereas Yogi, author, and founder of the app, The Art of Breathing, Eddie Stern, told us of his path from selling drugs to NYU students in the same building of the penthouse where he now lives, to teaching inner city kids how to teach yoga to their peers.

The panel — 3 views of how to get to kind.
The cat weighs in.

Bob Roth, my universally adored personal meditation teacher who taught me my mantra five years ago (and who is also David Lynch Foundation President), was there. Bob is developing research on the now well-known benefits of meditation for Vets and students so they can receive government support as well. 

I was feeling very Zen — and yes, kind — until I realized I was late for dinner. I wondered if it would break the spirit during the Q&A if I asked if I might be excused to go.

L. to r.: Do Good Girls Joan Hornig, hostess Karen Mehiel; My meditation man, Bob Roth.
True philanthropist, Southampton Arts Center’s Simone Levinson, and panelist Eddie Stern.

There is no more perfect launch pad for the ARF event than animal activists, protectors, and board members of ARF, Ellen and Chuck Scarborough’s home. Their rescue dog Phoebe pranced, kitties slinked, and we sipped our rosé with doggy-embroidered napkins.

L. to r.: Scarboroughs — the ultimate dog family, down to the cocktail napkins; Why we go to ARF. The Scarborough’s rescue dog, Phoebe.
L. to r.: At the risk of overexposure, I couldn’t resist a pic in my turquoise dress in their turquoise living room, though Ellen’s addition of orange suggests HoJo — remember?; OHHH! Quel surprise! Blair Husain and Betsy Ruprecht.
Picture perfect (and more) Husains: Blair, Hannah, Asher, and Harris at the Scarboroughs.
Ambassador John and Sharon Loeb.

There was something about travelling in the ‘girl car’ with Ellen and her fab, fun pal Betsy Ruprecht, music blaring, hair flying, that made me want to do a Thelma and Louise: pull up to the local sports bar Fellingham’s, throw caution to the wind and down a martini … but we didn’t. We actually wanted to go to the annual Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) benefit at their headquarters for one of the most heartfelt, important, fun events of the summer.

On arrival, after a quick lift by golf cart from the roadway to the outdoor tent with supporter and doghouse designer, Donna Karan, we were greeted by a host of earnest, lovely dogs that were looking for a forever home. More heart wrenching was the adoption van where the dearest creatures gazed hopefully from their (comfortable) cages.  I have my eye on old, fat, 15-year-old Bear; a beautiful mound of black fur and knowing golden eyes. I am discussing with Marble and Pebble, my dogs.

At ARF, Donna Karan flagging down and hopping on our golf cart.
No missing the theme.
Pup and volunteer-both irresistible.
Chuck Scarborough meeting Serge, a distinguished Jack Russell, up for adoption.
Heartstrings pulled in the Adoption Van.
Bear. He stole my heart. He is 15 and has been at ARF for 2 years. I mean …

Peter Marino designed and donated the glamorous décor for the event. He is an avid ARF adopter as well. Fellow adopter and ARF Champion of Animals honoree, Isaac Mizrahi, was ushered up to the podium to “You’re the Top.” He told us about his adoptees: “I raise monsters.” In actuality he champions the Annual Stroll to the Sea Dog Walk, and along with his husband Arnold, walks the resident dogs. He also designs the invitation and popular T-shirt every year.

Peter Marino’s donated flowers.
L. to r.: Honoree Isaac Mizrahi — a darned good pic if I do say so myself; David Monn, off duty tonight, with ex Board Chair, Lisa McCarthy.

There is nothing like passion and love to make a perfect evening; and this truly was. The table was strewn with mini pups and cats and animal decorated bowls. The menu was Olivier Cheng’s — always perfect food. There were the arfITECTURE dog and cat houses, plus Peter Duchin’s superb band, and the rousing, but not too long auction. Passionate supporters like Board President Kathy Rayner, ex-president Lisa McCarthy, Executive Director Scott Howe, and their friends, were mainly there for the 1,500 animals ARF finds homes for EVERY year.

Board President Kathy Rayner and Executive Director and CEO Scott Howe.
Peter Marino with Cox Foundations President, Nancy Rigby.
Peter’s distinctive digits pointing to his decor.
Table top adorables.
L. to r.: Emilia Saint-Amand and Tina Alano; Definition of dapper — Harry Slatkin.
Eric and Fiona Rudin with Tracey Ryans.
L. to r.: Christian and Holly MacDonald; Glam Sam Rudin.
Jay and Tracy Snyder.
Arf-itecture dog and cat houses, up for auction.
Dancing to Duchin.
Baaa-ing good night.

Sunday morning, I joined Nicole Miller and many friends and supporters of The Group for the South Fork to clean up Long Beach in Sag Harbor. The good news is that there were more supporters than garbage, though Debbie Loeffler managed to collect pounds of plastic. I think she raided the dumpster cause she likes to win.

Group for the South Fork beach clean up: Chris French, Allison Hodge, Nicole Miller, and Donald Sultan.
L. to r.: Mother/son team, Palmer Taipale and Nicole Miller; Debbie Loeffler scheming other uses for pick up stick.
Found it!
L. to r.: Paige Pederson, Missy Hargraves, and April Gornik; Ex-PageSixers (phew) Richard Johnson, Paula Froelich and Karl.

Nicole tempted all with a reward of Nicole Miller rosé at le Bibloquet, afterwards. I, uncharacteristically, demurred, and tucked into a cozier poolside ladies lunch.

Chicest welcome pineapple/doorknocker.
Dirty lens makes a watercolor.
Swimming has never been so cultured.
Rachel Hovnanian’s sculpture.
Geese bidding adieu.

A magnificent rainbow ended my day. I think Bear is at the end of it.

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