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All For The Animals

Originally Posted: August 13, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer

The Wild Night for Wildlife summer benefit party, held at the Oldfield's residence in Quogue, was most certainly a Wild Night for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge! It was such a great turnout that many said it was one of the best parties they've been to all summer long.

William Murray, Jennifer Oldfield, Jane Post, and Jeanette Obser at the Wild Night
for Wildlife summer benefit. Photo by Angela Williams

Hosts Charlotte Post Chase and Jeanette Obser, co-chairs of the benefit planning committee, did a great job planning this party! At the time of arrival, you couldn't help but notice that even the "wildlife" had joined us to party for the evening. The owls, turtles, and snakes were among the highlights of the cocktail hour, which made this event unique in many ways. You can't go wrong with the best hors d'oeuvres such as grilled shrimp, clams on the half shell, and steak strips to go along with your favorite glass of wine or cocktail. Perfect way to start the evening!

There was a silent and live auction with many interesting things to bid on such as paintings, beach toys, and even trips for that special getaway we sometimes are in need of but rarely get the chance to take. I can't say enough about the band Sweetwater, they were fantastic! They definitely know how to keep a crowd on the dance floor. The party was supposed to end at 10 p.m. but ended up roaring until around 11 p.m.. How can you stop everyone from dancing and having a great time? You can't. Great job to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge!

BeKind founder Frances Hayward welcomed guests into her home and out of the torrential rain for her "Art For Animals" dinner in honor of Russell Simmons, CEO of Rush Philanthropic, and Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) at Grey Gardens in East Hampton. Hayward set up a sumptuous vegan buffet for her animal-loving guests who included Frank and Victoria Wyman, Patrick and Elisabeth Gerschel, Richard and Isabelle Furlaud, Chuck and Cathy Gropper, veterinarians Robin Brenner and Jay Kuhlman, stunner Beth Ostrosky (sans fiancé Howard Stern), HSUS's Samantha Haas, and Humane Society NY's Sandra Defeo, who all weathered the storm to come show their support.

Russell Simmons, Wayne Pacelle, and Frances Hayward at the Art For Animals dinner
at Grey Gardens. Photo by PatrickMcMullan.com

Upon entering, guests including Eva Beale (whose husband Bouvier is a direct descendant of the Beale family), Lionel Larner, Campion and Tatianna Platt, Jackie and Anya Robertson, Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Thomas, interior designers Tony Ingrao, Randy Kemper and Cynthia Clift, designers Michael Mione and Jackie Rogers, lighting master Bentley Meeker, and ARF's Sara Davisson were greeted by a large painting of Frances' beloved Shepherd-mix Amigo, the inspiration for her Foundation, who she just lost to cancer this year.

Prominently featured in the foyer was a 12 x 9 oil Masonite painting of an endearing bunny entitled "The Hutch," donated by famed American artist Hunt Slonim, whose brother Jeffrey Slonim and his wife Fiona admired upon entering. The beautiful dark carved wood framed artwork, valued at $3,800, will be up for auction on-line with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to helping animals. Bidding will began Aug. 1 online at the Humane Society of New York's website (www.humanesocietyny.org) and on eBay, and will continue through Sept. 1. Sharon Patrick took the initiative and placed the first $1,000 bid, but Liz Fondaras, attorney Salvatore Strazzullo, who attended with his wife Jodie Fanelli and her twin Diane, art aficionado Michele Gerber Klein and Hunt Slonem collector Wendy Diamond, host of CBS' "Greatest American Dog," all expressed interest in the piece.

In the beautifully decorated main room Dr. Robert Schwalbe and his wife Janie chatted with R. Couri Hay, Joan McGivern, and James Oxnam about his new book "Sixty, Sexy, and Successful," and his reading at East End Books that Friday. Anne Dexter-Jones was showing off her new bracelet designs to a group of guests and admitted she had named the line after herself as "Cartier was already taken!" Russell Simmons' new girlfriend Paige Butcher, dressed casually in a sweatshirt with skinny jeans, mingled with Vera and Donald Blinkin and Debbie Bancroft and her young daughter Serena, who is already a big animal fan!

While supporters dined on an extensive buffet menu, Wayne, Russell, and Frances took a few moments to thank everyone for coming out to support such a worthwhile cause despite the raging weather. The hostess concluded the speaking by encouraging everyone to help any way they can, from adoption to volunteering, to donating time, products or funds, as animals cannot fend for themselves and need any help we can give.

This past year, Hayward, Simmons and Pacelle worked together on different initiatives to raise awareness and funds for animals, including their national Public Service Announcement to stop dog fighting and the horrific practice of dog baiting. The party allowed the dynamic trio the opportunity to exchange new ideas while relaxing with friends and supporters. Frances' next trip will be to New Orleans for the Pet Memorial, which honors all the pets lost in Hurricane Katrina, on Aug. 29.

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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