Host of last year's inaugural event at his beautiful Seafield Estate, Len Conway recently stepped down as WHBPAC Chairman of the Board after 14 years of service. (Douglas Harrington)
- In what is becoming the Hamptons' hottest fundraising party west of the canal, guests gathered at a beautiful estate on Dune Road in Quogue in support of the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
After years as a vibrantly active venue for the performing arts, last year WHBPAC
threw its first official fundraising gala and it proved to be such a success they decided to make it an annual event. The Second Annual Be Our Guest Gala was even more successful than the first with almost 250 guests in attendance.
The poolside, sunset cocktail party was hosted this year by Sheila
and Seth Waugh
at their beautiful bayside home in Quogue. Mrs. Waugh was thrilled to host this year's event telling Hamptons.com, "I think Westhampton Beach and everyone that lives in this area should be so proud of the Arts Center. It is like nothing else out here and they should be so proud of what they have done and support it in every way possible."
Co-Chaired by WHBPAC Advisory Council members Patty Allen
and Lorrie Gordon
, the original concept for the gala is credited to Council Chairwoman Mary Skillern
of Southampton. The event itself starts with the aforementioned cocktail party followed by private dinner parties in a dozen host homes in Remsenberg, Westhampton Beach and Quogue.
Chairwoman of the Advisory Council Mary Skillern addresses the WHBPAC supporters in Quogue. (Douglas Harrington)
The dinner parties all had specific themes like "Seafood by the Creek," "American Cuisine - Historic Remsenberg Style" and "Paris Comes to Quogue" with at least one host preparing dinner for 40 guests. Tickets to the cocktail party were $150, with cocktails and dinner reservations going for $250. All the dinner reservations sold out very early.
WHBPAC Executive Director Clare Bisceglia
was thrilled by the turnout and the community support the center has received during what is a difficult economy for art organizations in general, "I never thought we could outdo ourselves from last year's brilliant evening, but I think maybe we did tonight. An absolutely glorious setting with absolutely glorious weather, we are a completely sold out event and we are thrilled. We are a true not-for-profit and we cannot exist without the support of the community. It is a testament to this community that the theatre is not only surviving, but thriving."
It was an evening of great food, great drinks and great company in support of a great center for the performing arts. Yes indeed, WHBPAC is thriving thanks to a community that has a passion for the arts.
Breathtaking views from the bayside home of Sheila and Seth Waugh who hosted this year's Be Our Guest sunset cocktail party. (Douglas 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