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Hamptons Benefits: Love Heals Celebrates Its 20th Birthday

Submitted by on July 10, 2012 – 9:44 amOne Comment
DJ KISS rocks Love Heals

DJ KISS rocks Love Heals

By Heather Buchanan

Photos by Owen Hoffman for Patrick McMullan Company

It wasn’t only the lightning that set off sparks in the tent for the 650 Hamptonites who came out support the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education at Love Heals at Luna Farms in Sagaponack, raising over $300,000.  Unlike the senior blue-blazered crowd found at many Hamptons benefits, this was the sizzling social set.  You know an organization is dedicated to safe sex when they make sure every goody bag contains a “Proper Attire Required… For Entry” condom.  Designer condom, of course, by host Charlotte Ronson.

Andrew Saffir, Charlotte Ronson, Hilary Rhoda, Daniel Benedict

Andrew Saffir, Charlotte Ronson, Hilary Rhoda, Daniel Benedict

Love Heals Executive Director Jasmine Nielsen said, “It’s the ultimate birthday party for the 20th anniversary of Love Heals.  We’ve reached 530,000 young people about AIDS education.  At this event, we’re getting an amazing younger crowd.  It’s not true that they are not a philanthropic generation.”

Caroline Fare, Eric Villency

Caroline Fare, Eric Villency

Eric Villency of the Villency Design Group noted, “This is the quintessential Hamptons event for an important cause. I grew up with people in the arts and AIDS affected a lot of them.  It still matters, and this keeps the issue alive.”

Dini von Mueffling

Dini von Mueffling

Organization co-founder Dini von Mueffling commented, “We don’t think about the 1.2 million who are infected and the more than 25% who don’t know it.  This disease is 100% preventable through education.  It is just a conversation.  Kids’ bullshit detectors are through the roof.  When they have a speaker from Love Heals you can hear a pin drop.”  In terms of one of her best friends Alison Gertz who died of AIDS, Mueffling said, “Oh Ali, it seems like just yesterday.  She died August 8, 1992 in West Hampton.  I know she would be proud of us.  She worked so hard.” Alison Gertz’parents Mr. and Mrs. Jerrold Gertz were also in attendance.

Host Andrew Saffir there with Daniel Benedict admitted, “I’m semi allergic to Hamptons events.  This is always one of my favorites.  Dini is so tirelessly dedicated.  It’s an honor to help in a small way.”

Host Hilary Rhoda added, “It’s an honor and really fun to put together this event to raise awareness and keep Ali’s legacy alive.  In the Hamptons you come here to relax and be laid back and comfortable.  This event isn’t stuffy or uptight.  It’s great to be outdoors.”

Well, yes until a downpour sent most of the female population to the ladies room to fix soggy dresses and undone tresses. I took the smart ticket and ran under the umbrella at the Nathan’s Hot Dog stand to squeeze in with the Nathan guys and chow down.

love heals balloons cropped

I did learn a new style trick for frizzing blow outs.  Put a poodle balloon on your head.  Done.

Patron Summer Cocktails

Patron Summer Cocktails

Patron tequila had on their A-game to cool down the hot crowd with summer cocktails including the Birthday Splash with Patron Silver, Patron Citronge Liquer, Kerry Watermelon Syrup, fresh watermelon, fresh lime, and Kerry Agave Syrup.  Patron also gave new definition to popsicle stand – infusing their silver label with Peach Basil, Pomegranate and Grapefruit Hibiscus.  One young girl looked on with great anticipation.  “Sorry. Come back in a few years,” she was advised.

Baylor Ferrier and Heather Lucas

Baylor Ferrier and Heather Lucas photo by HipHamptons

Patron was also doing engravings on your own muddler.  I had mine etched with, “The Lovely Hour.”  The lovely hour is happy hour only prettier.  I plan to muddle a little fresh blackberry and lavender to add to my tequila.  After a few cocktails it was time for people to have fun with the Patron photo booth.  Can we just say that girls rule.

Patron love heals

photo by John Gannon

The silent auction is always a stand out at Love Heals, and don’t think I didn’t see one socialite carefully placing her cocktail on the sheet to blur the name of the woman who outbid her.  Two items were very hot:  Wolffer Estate Vineyards Tour and Tastings for six with Christian’s Cuvee Merlot, and New York City Ballet 2 tickets to the fall gala celebrating Valentino and a working rehearsal as well as a pair of Maria Kowroski signed pointe shoes.

Awesome DJ Kiss kept the crowd dancing the whole time.  I would hire her for any event.

Hilary Rhoda, Nicole Trufino

Hilary Rhoda, Nicole Trufino

Here are some of the noted guests: supermodel Nicole Trunfio, pianist Chloe Flower, designer Rebecca Minckoff, Rodale’s David Zincenko, news anchor Chris Wragge, Peter Davis, Kelly Delaney, Richard Farley, Stephanie Hirsch, Richard Johnson & Sessa von Richtofen, Scott Lipps, Avis Richards, Teresa Sorkin, Martin & Nina Varsavsky, Eric Villency, and Niche Media’s Samantha Yanks, among others.

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