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Early Evening Summer Parties

Originally Posted: July 11, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer

The place to be last Friday night was Meadow Lane residence of Danielle and David Ganek in Southampton for the 21st American Picnic with Fireworks to benefit and celebrate the Southampton Fresh Air Home. A few houses down the lane, Claire and Jim Muholland hosted the campers' party. Both events were catered flawlessly by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs with a spread of pulled pork, sweet corn, and fun ice cream novelties for the kids of all ages.

Kim White, Susan Nappa Cocke, Ken Wolfe, Barbara Kugler, and Mildred Brinn at
the 21st American Picnic with Fireworks. Photo by PatrickMcMullan.com

As guests pulled up to the house huge arrangements of balloons and a clown on stilts welcomed us into the party where a variety of carnival games, face painting, and sand art waited for excited children. Picnic chairmen Brenda Earl De Paola, Barbara and Jack Kugler, Michaela and Stephan Keszler, Christl and Ken Meskat, Patricia and George Kraus, and Barbara Dana Tollis waded their way through the throngs, some 800 strong, who had come to enjoy the evening.

Many benefactors came out for the fun night including Pam and Bill Michaelcheck, Barbara and Randall Smith, Shelley and Steven Einhorn, Henry Buhl, Devon and Pete Briger, Fiona and Stan Drukenmiller, and Diana Roesch DiMenna.

As rain threatened to spoil the evening, Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley led the countdown a half-hour early for the spectacular Grucci fireworks display that included music from the likes of U2 and Neil Diamond over the speakers following a performance of the national anthem sung by Carolyn Harding. Among the guests we spotted Camille and Kelsey Grammer, Ken Wolfe, from "The Real Housewives of New York City," Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen with their children, Tatiana and Campion Platt, Kim White, Susan Nappa Cocke, Ken Wolfe, Barbara Kugler, Mildred Brinn, Cathy di Montezemolo, Pamela Rollins Camacho, Susan Nappa Cocke, Carole Guest, Tia Walker, Dennis Basso, Don Sullivan, and scores more.

The ominous skies didn't stop hundreds from swarming the grounds of the historic Halsey House preserved and maintained by the Southampton Historical Museums for the annual Halsey House Cocktail Gala, one of the most elegant early evening parties of summer. This year's lawn party attracted a record number of friends and supporters of The Southampton Historical Museum thanks largely to the efforts of their dynamic committee and donors.

Harry and Barbara Hackett with Elizabeth and Jack Lilywhite at the Halsey House
Gala. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Guests arriving at the historic landmark, one of the oldest homes in America, were greeted by Museum supporters dressed in authentic Colonial garb then ushered into the restored homestead of Thomas Halsey to be welcomed by Trustees Dorothy Herrick Hare and Pam Jackson who invited us to tour the house before joining the crowd on the lawn. Dorothy and Pam's new business Jackson Hare Floral Design created all the extraordinary floral arrangements for the gala.

While the crowd chatted and sampled seafood delights from a massive raw bar laden with local lobster, crabs, shrimp and clams provided by Schmidt's, The Southampton Revolutionary War Militia reenacted Colonial era military maneuvers on the grounds with such amazing authenticity that their seven musket salute startled everyone with its boom! As in previous years, there were a number of coquettish ladies in low-cut Colonial gowns flapping their fans and suggestively calling out to the gents. Our favorites were the delightful and bawdy played to a fair thee well by Beverlea Walz and Kristina Foster. Also convincing as 17th century townsfolk were Linda Eckert and Ben Foster who partake every year.

The Museum's executive director Tom Edmonson who has ample reason to celebrate this last year of original exhibitions and record attendance, and who worked the congenial crowd making sure everyone enjoyed themselves; introducing Jack Lillywhite to the guests. Jack's family business is the subject of the Museum's current smash exhibition "Sporting Life in the Hamptons: The Lillywhite Family Collection". Underwritten by Harry Hackett III and Louise Collins, "Sporting Life in the Hamptons" includes sports memorabilia, sporting goods, books, photographs and other ephemera associated with the Lillywhite family of sportsmen and sports business entrepreneurs of the Victorian and gilded Ages of England, Bermuda and the United States. Complementing this display is a collection of Lighthouse Paintings by Ellen De Pazzi.

Major supporters of the gala which enjoys tremendous community sponsorship include Dennis Schmidt and Jennifer Meihofer, Laura and Robert Sillerman, Constance Edwards Herrick, Susan Allen, Leslie C. Feldman, Kevin and Sheila Guidera, Peter Hallock, Charlton and Nancy Halsey, Margaret M. Hill, William E. Koral, and Katie and William Milligan.

Kudos to all the donors who made this such a delightful evening and celebration of our country including Mr. and Mrs. Gerald T. Adams, Mildred C. Brinn, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Clay, Jeanne and Jay Diesing, Richard and Nancy DePetris, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald DePetris, Jacqueline Fish, F. Patricia Garrity, Dede Gotthelf, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Griffin, Barbara and Harry Hackett, Jr., Deborah and Noel Hare, Denise and Al Hurley, Diana and David Jewel, Margaret Logan and Charles Coulter, Morgan and Gerri MacWhinnie, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Masterson, Emil Norsic and Son, Anne and John Rachel, Ann and Howard Reisman, Countess Wiltraud Salm, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent S. Scerbinski, Jordan Schweon and Catherine Genzlinger, Robert and Elizabeth DeBarto Skinner, Linda Stabler-Talty and Peter J. Talty, Edward and Phyllis Toohey, Jodi and Jack Wasserman, and Hilary and Eric Woodward.

With a theme of 'Going Local! Going Green', the committee sent guests home with reusable grocery bags filled with bags of compost, organic cleaners, and other green goodies!

Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer

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