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Hetrick-Martin Institute Raises Nearly $250,000 At Hamptons School's Out

Abby Cummings

Barry's Bootcamp's Mathew Schwartz, Connor Miller, Jenna Mazanowski, Joey Gonzalez, Jon Rollo, Alycia Stevenin, Travis Schwerin, Josey Greenwell, Deadra, Devin Murphy, Harley Rodriguez, and Jonathan Knight-Rodriguez. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

Hetrick-Martin Institute's 18th Annual School's Out cocktail party fundraiser was held for the second time at the East Hampton home of interior design Galerie Magazine Editorial Director Lisa Cohen and husband James Cohen, President and CEO of Hudson News.

"It's such an incredible event, it's the kickoff of the summer," co-host Scott Sanders told Hamptons.com. "It benefits the most wonderful school in New York, for the most fabulous kids."

HMI Director, Individual Giving, Chandler Bazemore and Laura Wolfman. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

The event, which took place on Saturday, June 11th, raised over $250,000 for the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI). Hosting nearly 500 guests, the benefit gives HMI the opportunity to celebrate the work that they've done this year, and all proceeds from School's Out help HMI to continue to provide services throughout the summer to LGBTQ youth, who are otherwise underserved and often considered at-risk.

A fleet of MINI Clubman, including the new ALL4 Digital Blue Clubman, waited at the Georgica Beach parking lot to shuttle guests to the School's Out venue, thanks to courtesy rides from the Greater Gotham MINI Dealers.

A presentation of one-of-a-kind artworks, based on "lifesavers" by artists Ralph Lauren Home, Jonathan Adler, Mathew Albiani, Serena Dugan, Kerry Irvine, Laura Kaufman, Joseph La Piana, Ashley Longshore, Donald Robertson, Gregory Siff and Mickalene Thomas, was also featured at the benefit. The pieces can be viewed and bid on through Friday, June 24th at paddle8.com.

The 2016 School's Out was co-chaired by Bobby Graham of GQ, interior designer Malcolm Kutner, and Ward Williams of MotherNY and co-hosted by Alfredo Paredes of Ralph Lauren, Scott Sanders and his partner Peter Wilson. The event also featured honorary host, and influential LGBTQ advocate, Edie Windsor.

Windsor has spent her whole life breaking boundaries. She is arguably part of the most influential legal precedent in the struggle for LGBT marriage equality. Windsor has been such a pillar of the LGBT community and her meaningful work has touched East End Gay Organizations, The LGBT Community Center and Team New York at the Gay Games in NYC in 1994.

Hetrick-Martin Institute believes that all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe environment where they can achieve their full potential. Unfortunately, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth face a pervasive societal stigma and overwhelming obstacles. HMI offers these young people a supportive community that fosters positive youth development with pioneering programs that promote physical and mental health, emotional resilience, academic achievement, job readiness, and artistic and cultural creativity. Founded in 1979, HMI is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit leader in LGBTQ youth service programming. With the event taking place the night before the tragedy in Orlando, the organization's importance is evident. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire community of Orlando and the greater LGBTQ community. We are all in shock right now from this horrendous act," said Thomas Krever, CEO, Hetrick-Martin Institute. "Terrorism and hatred like this must never be tolerated. It is painfully apparent that we as a society still have so much more work to do in understanding and loving one another, and creating safe spaces for everyone to be their authentic selves."

Peter Wilson and Scott Sanders. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

Edie Windsor and Lisa Cohen expressed their heartfelt sentiments about the significance of Hetrick-Martin Institute's work in supporting and empowering LGBTQ youth. They were both excited to be able to give back to the community in such a meaningful way.

"I'm thrilled with this organization and I love that there's this kind of celebration and fundraising for it, because it's such an important and heartfelt cause," said Windsor.

For more information, visit www.hmi.org.


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