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Love Heals 10th Annual Benefit Rallies Fight Against HIV

Originally Posted: June 21, 2009

Melissa and Bradford Rand and Stephanie and Eric Price enjoy the Love Heals benefit held at the Polish Hall in Southampton. Photos by Eileen Casey

Southampton - Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, held its 10th annual Love Heals benefit at the Polish Hall in Southampton on Saturday, June 20.

Nikki Eyraud and Allison Tucker had a great time.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit Love Heals, which empowers young people in the fight against HIV. The event was hosted by Charlotte Ronson, and featured a beach theme, silent auction, cocktails, dancing, and barbeque courtesy of Deforest Gibbs of Charleston, South Carolina.

Originally scheduled to take place at Luna Farm, and despite the change in venue, as well as the the rain and fog, arriving at Polish Hall (where valet parking was available for some), attendees were greeted with smiling gentlemen with umbrellas and directed up the stairs to enter the hall, which was filled to capacity with supporters for this organization that "creates and distributes educational materials, shares its expertise, and advocates for young people's right to HIV/AIDS education....in partnership with hundreds of schools and community groups."

Diana and Barron Eyraud are happy to show their support.

Transformed to reflect the 'beach chic' theme, old 1950s and 1960s movies beach movies were projected on the walls, and a 'surfer dude' [model] clad in a bathing suit, leaned against his surfboard, along with waiters lining either side of the entrance bearing trays of 'fruity cocktails' were the first welcome immediately after entering the hall - the SKYY Infusions "Passion Fruit" cocktail was particularly delightful.

Large white ottomans and couches, as well as tall, small tables were scattered about the first section of the hall for attendees to sit (or stand) to enjoy plates piled high with the delicious food offered, including pulled pork, ribs, chicken, salads, potato chips, soda and even a Nathan's hot dog stand, complete with all the fixings - including onions and mustard on warm rolls.

Two buffet lines kept the crowd moving comfortably, even for those spied going back for seconds, and the staff for the evening were always at hand to whisk away any empty plate or glass. They did a fantastic job as there was very little room to move about.

Alyssa Schneider and Amanda Price man the silent auction table.

The second half of the hall was cordoned off by security guards as the VIP section, which was merely large tables reserved for those who actually wanted to sit at a table to eat rather than balance a plate on their knee on couches and ottomans completely covered in white fabric, although given the size of the crowd everyone managed to keep their dressy clothes spot free.

The dance floor was in the middle of the VIP section and once sated attendees had their fill they took to the floor to dance to the spins of a terrific DJ, who kept just about everyone movin' and groovin'.

The silent auction table featured high-end items including travel and lesiure packages, accessories for her and him; health and beauty, and fashion for her with reasonable opening bids. The crowds around the auction table were a good sign for the organization and there were a few bidders that seemed quite serious about nabbing their desired item.

Well attended with great food, drinks, music, auctions items, with happy and generous attendees did, in fact, remind all that love does and can heal.

For additional information on Love Heals go to www.loveheals.org.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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