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The 2011 East End Hospice Summer Gala: A Night In Venice

Originally Posted: July 06, 2011

Douglas MacKaye Harrington

Dazzling gowns and decorative masks were donned by many EEH supporters. (Douglas Harrington)

Peconic Bay Broadcasting radio personality Bonnie Grice served as the evening's Mistress of Ceremonies. (Douglas Harrington)

Quogue - One of the Hamptons most admired local charitable organizations was celebrated last week as almost 700 attendees gathered at the Sandarces Estate in Quogue in support of East End Hospice (EEH).

Certified in 1991, EEH provides care and comfort for terminally ill patients and their families on the North and South Forks and in the Eastern part of Brookhaven Township. Along with offering pain and symptom control as well as palliative care, EEH offers social, emotional and spiritual support to patients and their loved ones. No one is ever denied care by EEH because of an inability to pay.

The evening was dubbed "A Night in Venice" and many of the guests dressed in elaborate costumes and masks. The sunset alfresco cocktail hour provided striking vistas of Quantuck Bay from the beautiful grounds of this historic estate owned by the Potts family, who once again graciously hosted the affair.

Peconic Bay Broadcasting 88.3 radio personality Bonnie Grice served as the evening's Mistress of Ceremonies and guests were treated to a scrumptious buffet by D'Alessio Catering, casino gambling for silent auction vouchers and dancing to the music of the Sean Fleming Band.

A dozen tables were needed to display the 122 items donated for the EEH silent auction. (Douglas Harrington)

Benefit Chairs Linda Filardi and Betsy Rowe welcomed guests with opening remarks, which was followed by the long awaited announcement of the plans to build an eight bed in-patient hospice facility on Meeting House Lane in Quiogue, a dream of EEH's original founders. The "Building the Dream" capital campaign to raise funds for the construction of the residence was officially launched by EEH President and CEO Pricilla Ruffin, Board Chairman W. Michael Pitcher, Capital Campaign Chairman L. Wesley Lowd and Lead architect Roger Ferris.

Attendees were treated to beautiful Quantuck Bay vistas during the sunset cocktail hour at Sandacres Estate in Quogue. (Douglas Harrington)

In previous statements Ruffin noted, "The East End Hospice Inpatient Facility is not just a building but a symbol of the hospice philosophy. It is a place where people will live their final days in comfort and dignity. This facility is a natural extension of our mission. It allows us to diversify the options available to terminally ill patients on the East End and offer a welcoming homelike alternative when they cannot stay in their own homes. At the same time, the facility will also provide temporary care, support and hospitable accommodations to patients who may want to return home."

Almost 700 supporters attended the 2011 East End Hospice Summer Gala. (Douglas Harrington)

This year's recipient of the 12th Annual Dorothy P. Savage Good Samaritan Award was the Westhampton Garden Club. Several members of the club were on hand to accept the well deserved honor.

The grassroots support from local residents and businesses was also reflected in the 122 silent auction items donated in support of EEH. Prizes ranged from golf outings to restaurant gift certificates, sports memorabilia to vacation stays in Ireland and Costa Rica, fine art to kids' camp packages, and more gift baskets than one could imagine. It took more than a dozen tables to display all the items donated. The evening also included a 50/50 raffle.

Every summer since 1997 EEH offers a five day bereavement camp for children between the ages of four through 15, Camp Good Grief. The generosity continued as Grice urged the crowd, in a live auction scenario, to support Camp Good Grief by sponsoring a child. The hope was to get five sponsors to sponsor five kids at $1,200 per child. Thanks to Grice's unbounded enthusiasm, 15 children were sponsored at this year's gala. Bravo Bonnie and a special thank you to all the generous sponsors!

Attendees danced the night away to the music of the Sean Fleming Band. (Douglas Harrington)

In the grand perspective, we are on this earth but for a fleeting moment and death eventually will find us all. For over 8,000 terminally ill patients and their families here on Eastern Long Island that end came with grace, comfort and dignity thanks to the work and dedication of the caregivers and supporters of East End Hospice.

Casino gambling for silent auction vouchers was part of the festivities with each guest starting with $100 in complimentary chips. (Douglas Harrington)

For more information, click here.

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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