Photos: The Retreat’s All Against Abuse, A Night in Havana

Douglas Elliman

The gang from Douglas Elliman: Justin Agnello, Bonny Aarons, Barbara Mattson, James Keough, Denise Wilder, Tim Kelly, Janette Goodstein, Dawn Watson (hey, that’s me!) and Hara Kang. 

What a terrific way to spend this past Saturday night, with so many of my friends present and accounted for at  A Night in Havana All Against Abuse Gala, courtesy The Retreat. The sold-out event, held at the Ross Lower School in Bridgehampton, was a colorful sight to behold, and a heck of a benefit that raised beaucoup bucks for people who are most definitely in need of some kindness and compassion. It was a beautiful night, complete with a performance by Maria Bacardi, live salsa music with Mambo Loco, Monte Carlo-style gaming, DJ, dancing, Cuban-inspired food by Art of Eating and auction performance by CK Swett, and one that I won’t soon forget! Thanks for the photos Kimberly Goff!


But wait, there’s more! Thanks to The Retreat and photographers Pam Grienke and Helen Atkinson-Barnes for sharing their pix too!


Photos from Ross School’s Club Starlight Benefit

Plenty of luminaries showed up at the 12th annual Ross School’s “Live @ Club Starlight” benefit in East Hampton on Saturday night. Those spotted in the crowd at the event, which raises awareness and critical funding to support the mission of the Steven J. Ross Scholarship Fund, included: honorees Barrie Glabman and Adam Schwartz, Courtney and Nicole Ross, Jenn Chidsey, Alexandra Fairweather, and musical guests GE Smith and Joan Osborne. Here are a few photos from the fundraiser. Enjoy.

All photos by Daniel Gonzalez, courtesy Ross School.

Hamptons Hot Picks for Saturday, May 9

Joan Osborne will play at the Ross School's benefit in East Hampton tonight, as will GE Smith.

Joan Osborne will play at the Ross School’s benefit in East Hampton tonight, as will one of our local favorite’s, the fantastic GE Smith.

A few clouds certainly aren’t going to slow us down today. There’s certainly no lack of things to do, so let’s get right to it!

* Eileen Duffy and select winemakers will talk about her book, “Behind the Bottle: The Rise of Wine on Long Island” at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill at 2 p.m. today.

* Today will be a FUN (and free!) Family Day at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton. From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring the kids for guided tours on the half-hour, a treasure hunt, performances by East End students and more.

* Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton is also now open. Two events are slated for today: Building Your Soil, From Compost to Fertilizer with Paul Wagner of Treewise Organics and Watercolor Classes with artist/educator Lois Bender. Check the site for times and additional information.

* The inaugural 2015 Music for Montauk series kicks off today with a spring concert at the Montauk School at 4 p.m. featuring music for strings, voice and piano. The show will be followed by a reception at Gosman’s. Click here to read the feature I wrote about this series for the Sag Harbor Express.

* Dockers Waterside in East Quogue will host its big Season Kickoff Party (it’s always a BASH!) from 5 to 7 p.m. with music by Souled Out.

* The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton will hold a “Grand Gallery Opening” reception from 6 to 8 p.m. with music by Mama Lee & Friends and artwork by Eric Ernst, Jim Gingerich, Sally Breen, and more.

* Ross School’s annual “Club Starlight” is happening tonight at 6:30 p.m.! The talent at this rock-and-roll event, which will be held at the Upper School in East Hampton, will include Joan Osborne, GE Smith and more.

* Citizens for Access Rights is holding its annual fundraiser at 7 p.m. at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, with live music by Mashup.

* Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor will screen a shortened live version of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at 8 p.m.

* The Southampton Animal Shelter’s benefit art show, “A Magic Menagerie,” will open with a reception tonight at the RJD Fine Arts Gallery in Sag Harbor from 6 to 8 p.m. |

Quick Stop at the Artists Against Abuse Benefit for The Retreat

Quick Stop at the Artists Against Abuse Benefit for The Retreat

Dawn Watson photos.

Foreshadowing what will surely be the case for the next 5 to 8 crazy busy weekends, I was only able to make a very quick stop at a wonderful event–the “Midsummer Night Fever” fundraiser–last night at the Ross School in Bridgehampton. But I’m happy that I was able to at least make it, short as the time was. Here are a few photos from early in the evening. Learn more about this fantastic organization at

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Midsummer Night Fever in the Hamptons

Midsummer Night Fever in the Hamptons

Still firming up your plans for tonight? Consider attending The Retreat’s annual “Artists Against Abuse Midsummer Night Fever” benefit at the Ross School in Bridgehampton from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
This year’s honoree is Congressman Tim Bishop and the participating artists include April Gornik, Arlene Slavin, Bob Tabor, Jack Youngerman and Lynn Geesaman.
Not only is my mouth watering in anticipation of the food from the chefs at Swedish Culinary Summer, I’m also pretty excited to hit the dance floor at this this fun party. Practicing my best disco moves right now!

Springing Ahead with More Hamptons News


First off, happy spring. The weather’s been a bit iffy but I think that we’ve finally got better days ahead of us. It’s not quite sandals time yet but I, for one, have put the boots and winter coats away in anticipation of warmer temps.
Much as we’d like it to be, not everything can come up roses all the time–thus my sharing some of the less than stellar news of the past week, such as the Kardashians heading out east this summer for a reality series. Ugh. Much as I loathe the celebration of puerility, on the bright side, perhaps their retail presence (the concept is ‘Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons’ and bring their store, Dash, here as a pop-up) will add something positive to the economy.
Speaking of positives, the Ross School was just recognized by The Daily Meal for serving one of “The 10 Best School Lunches in America.” In fact, Scott Disick’s former stomping grounds (sorry, couldn’t resist) came in at number four. Here’s hoping that Hayground School makes a few lists as well, deservedly so.
And on another positive note, Hamptons resident Katie Couric will be giving a commencement speech at her father’s alma mater, American University, on May 10. The University of Virginia graduate will address members of the School of Communications. Good for her!
Think spring.

Christie Brinkley Brings the Bling

Christie Brinkley 014There are about a million and two reasons why I love Christie Brinkley. Not only is she beautiful inside (really) and out, she’s also deeply committed to the environment and is passionate about helping others. She’s also a gem on the red carpet–she’s playful and fun, very, very generous with her time and never takes a bad picture. As a result, she’s my most favorite celebrity to shoot.
I got the opportunity to sit down with her last May for a one-on-one interview in her dressing room at the Ambassador Theatre when she was headlining “Chicago” on Broadway. I couldn’t believe how nice she was (and not press nice, that’s different) and how intelligently and passionately she spoke about matters close to her heart.
Last night, she saved the day at the 10th annual Live @ Club Starlight benefit for the Ross School. Cyndi Lauper, slated to give a performance at the fundraiser and THE big draw for the photographers there, decided not to walk the red carpet. Of course, we weren’t told that until we got there, natch. But Christie, who was the Gala Chair and the only other celebrity in attendance, made up for it by giving great photo, as always.
Photo by Dawn Watson. Reprint by permission only.