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Sixth Annual IGHL Luncheon And Fashion Fling At Westhampton Beach C.C.

Douglas MacKaye Harrington

Janine Nebons of Tanger Outlets, Dori Geier, Walter Stockton, and Mary Beth Lichtneger of IGHL at this year's Sixth Annual IGHL Luncheon and Fashion Fling at the Westhampton Beach Country Club. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

The Westhampton Beach Country Club once again hosted the Independent Group Home Living (IGHL) annual Luncheon and Fashion Fling, now in its sixth year and one of the most popular of all IGHL fundraising events. The sold out event brought hundreds of women together for fun, food, and fashion in support a vital community based service organization.

Guests perused a room packed with fabulous silent auction items donated by local merchants in support of IGHL, from wineries to spas, retailers to service providers. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

"This event is about bringing women together who support IGHL and its mission, " noted Dori Geier, Senior Director of IGHL Human Resources and co-founder of the event with IGHL's CFO Mary Beth Lichtneger. "These women are mothers, sisters, cousins, grandmothers, and aunts of the people we care for; others are valued supporters and together we are strong in fighting for and standing up for those who are not able to stand up for themselves," added Lichtneger.

IGHL Executive Director Walter Stockton opened the event by welcoming the attendees and reiterating the mission of IGHL. Founded by Stockton, in response to the horrific conditions exposed by the 1972 Geraldo Rivera investigation of the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island, for 35 years IGHL has been the national standard for the care and empowerment of people with developmental disabilities, creating residential independence, providing occupational training, instilling self-worth, and literally changing the perception of and care for those among us that can not completely care for themselves. Stockton concluded his remarks by proudly reminding the crowd that IGHL's very first residents were rescued victims of Willowbrook.

During the cocktail hour guests perused a room packed with fabulous silent auction items donated by local merchants in support of IGHL, from wineries to spas, retailers to service providers. During the luncheon guests were treated to two heart melting video presentations of an IGHL client named Torrin who had spent the first 12 years of her young 13 year life in a hospital attending her first music concert and this past summer's IGHL collaboration with World T.E.A.M Sports for the first ever LI Coastal Team Challenge featuring IGHL clients and staff members as participants of the 22-mile kayak journey and non-competitive shoreline race from Westhampton Beach to Patchogue.

One of the afternoon's fashion models, very petite and animated IGHL resident Sarah Doris stole the show. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

The Willis Insurance Group was once again this year's sponsor, as they have been for six straight years, and long time IGHL corporate supporter 1-800-FLOWERS donated the beautiful centerpieces for each table. In attendance from the McCann family founders of 1-800-FLOWERS were Julie McCann-Mulligan and Mary Lou McCann. Ardent IGHL supporter and WFAN, WPPB and CBS Sports Radio commentator Ann Liguori was in attendance as usual hosting members of the media at her Ann Liguori Foundation table.

Attendees were serenaded by the acclaimed Greg Williams String Quartet throughout the event and the setting could not have been more delightful. The Westhampton Beach Country Club is both stunning and historic with an ambiance that evokes classic Hamptons style of a bygone era. The luncheon was absolutely delicious and the Tanger Outlet donated gift bags were fabulous.

Of course, what is a "fashion fling" without a fashion show? Partnering with IGHL in creating the afternoon's fashion show was Janine Nebons, General Manager of Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, and Peggy Palmer, Store Manger of Worth New York, who also served as emcee for the fashion program. The fabulous Worth New York fashions were modeled by volunteer attendees, including very petite and animated IGHL resident Sarah Doris who stole the show.

This year's sixth annual IGHL Luncheon and Fashion Fling proved once again that although fashion may change with the seasons, enthusiastic community support for outstanding organizations like Independent Group Home Living is never out of style.

IGHL supporters and volunteer fashion models eagerly await their chance on the Runway at the Sixth Annual IGHL Luncheon and Fashion Fling. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

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Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com Hamptons HamptonsOnline HamptonsOnline

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