Wednesday, August 9, 2023. Beautiful summer weather here in New York right now, with temps in the 70s, lots of sunshine — accompanied by lots of cloud coverings passing through. It’s only mid-week but the town seems quieter than usual. That’s because it is quieter than usual with this perfect summer weather. But … out of town where so many have been spending their summer holiday, there’s a lot of activity.
For example, last week MM Fine Art hosted an opening reception for SERENITY, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of photographer Christophe von Hohenberg’s White Album series and the works of Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas. Originally planned last summer by friends Christophe and Elizabeth, the exhibition has taken on special significance after her recent passing last Spring at age 94.
For von Hohenberg, photographing “The White Album Series” has been a passion for more than 35 years. All his life he’s been seduced by the spiritual connection when “wind, water and sand spray kisses of salt on your face, temporary healing ones anxiety’s and walking away feeling refreshed and whole again.”
As you can see here, von Hohenberg perfectly captures this state of Serenity in his photographs as well as in his portraiture. In his words: “There is nothing in the world that gives me a greater high and satisfaction, especially when shooting and knowing I got it! I love shooting with film and feel like a predator with a camera prowling the shoreline. I try to express clarity through abstraction to achieve an aesthetic expression which brings the image closer to emotions, stimulating insights. An image should constantly provoke the eye and imagination. I’m always looking for the magic in the picture, waiting for the unexpected.”
The exhibition runs through next Monday, August 14th at MM Fine Art, 4 North Main St. in Southampton.
Meanwhile also out in Southampton, Animal Shelter Foundation held its 14th Annual Unconditional Love Gala at The Muses. Chaired by Jean Shafiroff, the event honored Jon Ledecky, Co-owner, New York Islanders and Matt Meeker, co-founder and CEO, BARK. The Honorary Chair was Georgina Bloomberg.
The gala featured cocktails and a seated dinner, as well as dancing after a live and silent auction to raise the much-needed funds for the animals. Live auction items included courtside seats at the US Open, a night in the NY Islanders Owners Suite, Vacation stays in Sun Valley, Tuscany, A Dinner Party meal cooked by chef Rocco DiSpirito, and a one-year golf membership with Dormie Network.
The evening drew a big crowd of supporters including Jon Ledecky, Matt Meeker, Beth Stern, Southampton Town Mayor Bill Manger, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Bill Evans, NYS Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Martin Shafiroff, Kim Charlton, Pamela O’Connor, Michele Healy, Elizabeth Shafiroff, Nancy Stone, Greg D’elia, Henry Buhl, Sarah Freedman.
Proceeds from the event directly support the more than 5,000! animals who enter its doors each year. The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is supported exclusively by donations and grants from the community. From caring and finding homes for stray and abandoned animals to providing low-cost veterinary care and dog training so that animals can remain in their homes, the shelter has become a vital resource in the community.
The number of animals in need of help is growing every day. The overpopulation of pets on Long Island is a major issue and sadly more amazing animals are ending up homeless. Whether caring for strays found wandering the streets, rescuing neglected and abandoned animals, or saving dogs from the horrors of the puppy mill industry, the shelter is a safe haven for all animals and for some, the last resort.
Without SASF, these animals would not be able to survive. The shelter provides a steppingstone for animals to find loving homes. It offers them housing, food, medical treatment, training, and rehabilitation when necessary. For additional information, please visit www.sasf.org.
Meanwhile in Bridgehampton, the third annual “Fork It Alzheimer’s” event raised over $750,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association’s research programs, care, support, and education efforts. The sold-out benefit brings critical awareness to Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects more than 6 million Americans, including 410,000 in the state of New York. The event was hosted by Daryl and Irwin Simon at their Bridgehampton family farm.
The evening kicked off with a sunset cocktail hour under the tent courtesy of Montaukila, Sweetwater Brewery, Montauk Brewing Company, Breckenridge Distillery, Marchesi Fumanelli wine, Treo, LinkUp Rum Punch, and Hampton Water.
Hors d’oeuvres provided by The Lobster Roll and Great Performances before guests were treated to a wide array of summer food stations. Yum! Local ingredients from community purveyors made up the main courses, while decor provided by DeJuan Stroud set the scene for a lively atmosphere. Music by Cafe Wha’s UNLTD! was the perfect soundtrack to the evening of dancing and gathering to celebrate a meaningful cause.
Daryl and Irwin Simon’s involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association began after their family was personally affected by the disease.
“My family has personally experienced the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease as we cared for both mine and Irwin’s mother following their diagnoses,” said Daryl. “So many people in our community are impacted by this terrible disease. We started Fork It Alzheimer’s to bring everyone together to raise funds to help end Alzheimer’s and all dementia.”
“This is a pivotal time in Alzheimer’s and dementia research, and the impact of the disease only continues to grow. Funds raised at Fork It Alzheimer’s are critical to helping us continue to advance research while also providing care and support resources to millions of families affected by the disease,” said Joanne Pike, DrPH, president and CEO, Alzheimer’s Association.
Host Committee Members Stacy Polley, Linda Florin, Kristin and Aaron Marchese, and Suzanne Miller were joined by over 400 attendees including the evening’s emcee, CNBC Anchor, Sara Eisen, along with Steve Madden, Allison and Howard Lutnick, John and Margo Catsimatidis, Stuart and Pam Rothenberg, Marc Leder, Ramy Brook Sharp, and Mark Taub. Ethan Polley, Owen Polley, Matthew Sandberg, Nicolette Simon, Garett Simon, Trevor Simon, and Lucas Simon spearheaded the Next Gen Committee, a group of young professionals committed to advancing the work of the organization.
Wyatt and Michelle Florin, the evening’s Mission Moment speakers, shared their personal story through spoken word and dance to highlight the impact of the disease on their family, underlining the event’s purpose. The Simon’s son, Trevor Simon, hosted a Fund-A-Need live campaign, successfully rallying additional support for the cause through comedy and his personal connection.
The event’s Presenting Sponsor, Jefferies, was joined by additional sponsors, including Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, Tilray Brands, Hampton Yards, Double Diamond Acres, Bank of America, Michael Serruya, Pam and Stuart Rothenberg, Stacy Polley, Marc Leder, and Lauren and Marty Geller.
Earlier in the day, Beekman 1802 hosted a Goat Yoga event to help kick off the festivities and raise additional funds for the cause.
Funds raised will directly support the Alzheimer’s Association’s research program and the local efforts of the New York City and Long Island Chapters of the Association. In addition to the thousands of New Yorkers living with Alzheimer’s, 546,000 in the state provide unpaid care to someone living with the disease.
For more information, visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.
Catching up: Police Athletic League’s 49th annual Superstar Dinner was held earlier this summer to honor PAL Board President Bart M. Schwartz with the PAL Superstar Award at The Plaza, celebrating his dedication to New York City’s youth.
Mr. Schwartz was named the President of the Police Athletic League in January 2023 after actively working with PAL since 2009. He had previously served on its Board marking his long history of work with and commitment to the organization’s mission and its values. Mr. Schwartz is also Chairman of Guidepost Solutions LLC, a leading investigations, compliance, monitoring, and security and technology consulting firm.
Co-Chairs of the benefit event were Eric Hatzimemos, Hatzimemos/Libby; Hon. Barbara S. Jones (Ret.), Bracewell LLP; Montieth M. Illingworth, Montieth & Company, and Vincent F. Pitta, Esq., Pitta LLP.
A special performance byPathways Prep Drummers and Pathways Prep PAL After School Dancers, winners of the PAL 2023 Showstoppers Talent Show, highlighted the evening, and Dominic Carter of 77 WABC Radio New York served as Master of Ceremonies.
Founded in 1914, New York City’s Police Athletic League is a nonprofit organization that provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 15,000 children and teens annually. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.