"You cannot change the world by adopting an animal, but you can change the world for that animal," read the sign at the Second Annual ARF Designer Showhouse preview cocktail party. Event Chair Sandra McConnell had once again recruited eight top interior decorators to create rooms from donated ARF merchandise. Remembering last year's gorgeous bargains, we had our decorator (George Gordon Chang) poised to review cell photos in New York. Take yours.
Designers John D'Orazio and Jeffery Howard Brodersen.
(Photo: Adriel Reboh/PatrickMcMullan.com)
"I've been collecting specifically for the room since January," said Designer Jeffery Howard Brodersen of his Men's Dressing Room. We particularly admired an old 19th Century wooden candelabra that had been wired.
Nancy Corzine, Gary Crain and James Alan Smith, Michael Grim, Gigi Mahon, Jeff Pfeifle, Scott Salvator, Rob Southern and Tony Urrutia are the other animal loving designers who donated their time. They put their personal stamp on rooms. "And we love every single one of them," enthused ARF Executive Director Sara Davison.
"We're also launching our logo merchandise tonight, the ARF Mart which is T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, leashes, collars, and good Hamptons things like beach umbrellas, towels and totes," Davison continued, pointing to an impressive display.
So, we weren't surprised to hear Board President Lisa McCarthy had a marketing background. "Every year we have to close the gap between expenses and we always fall short by about $200,000," McCarthy said. "So we try to generate other revenue. One of those was putting together ten items that we thought would be great branding opportunities. If that works we 'll go into the next step of other products. We'll sell live on line, at the thrift shop, the shelter, and when we go out with our adoption van."
ARF's adoption van is also an ambitious and well-conceived project. "We're going take the doggies and kitties out on the road," McCarthy continued. "We've doubled the number of adoptions this year over last." Their goal: get the animal van out Thurday through Sunday every weekend. "Get them adopted, to try and save more."
They want you to know: thirty percent of their puppies are pure breeds from puppy mills, and they work with a rescue group in Dallas, TX, that specializes in rescuing smaller dogs. "That means lots of Chihauhaus and and Terrier mixes that are very popular up here," McCarthy explained, "so there's something for everybody."
The ARF Thrift and Treasure Shop is on 17 Montauk Highway in Sagaponack.
Gigi Mahon's whimsical doggie tea party. (Photo: Lee Fryd)