A Party Helps East Hampton’s New Emergency Department

The biggest and longest-running fundraiser in the Hamptons, the Southampton Hospital Foundation‘s Annual Summer Party, is on Saturday, August 5. This year it is of keen interest to those of us who live in East Hampton. That’s because a focus of their fund-raising is the finishing of the East Hampton Emergency Department, which will serve the communities in the East End.

The event this year is called “A Night at the Colony Hotel,” in Palm Beach. The event takes place on Wickapogue Road. Tickets are sold out for this sapphire anniversary, the organization’s 65th. The hospital has as its partner the owners of the Colony, Sarah and Andrew Wetenhall.

It is a natural alliance. The Wetenhalls, who bought the Colony in 2016, have homes in Palm Beach, near the hotel, in New York City, and in Sag Harbor. Sarah Wetenhall, who is the one involved in the hotel, spent more than a decade in fashion, working in public relations, marketing and advertising at Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss. And she was recently named a member of the Southampton Hospital Foundation Vision Board, where she joined Joey Wölffer, another mastermind behind the evening. (Wölffer Estate Vineyards is providing its world-class wines.)

Joey Wollfer (Instagram)

Andrew Wetenhall is the son of Bob Wetenhall Sr., who was a minority owner in the hotel. He is also the head of equity capital markets at Morgan Stanley, Americas. They are the parents of three children, now ranging in age from 8 to 14.

The Westenhall Family (The Colony Hotel)

For the evening, Sarah Wetenhall will bring the Colony Hotel to Wickapogue Road. Lucky ticket holders will sip the hotel’s signature cocktails while they lean on the hotel’s signature sea grape beach buggy, tasseled umbrellas and loungers. Lewis Miller, familiar for his flash floral displays on the streets and corners of Manhattan, will fill the tent with pink-and-green flowers and, no doubt, palm trees. Among many other changes, Sarah Wetenhall brought the long-dead and much lamented Swifty’s restaurant to the Colony in 2020. Such instincts!

Courtesy The Palm Beach Post

Canapés from  Swifty’s will be offered along with the cocktails and Wölffer rose. We predict miniature crab cakes and tuna tartar with ginger on cucumber.  Along with cocktails, lounge tunes will be served by Christiaan Padavan, Hampton Bays’ own American Idol contestant. Since you won’t be there, here is (what to our ears sounds like an auto-tuned song) his latest.

After speeches and dinner, DJ Oli Benz, popular at the Surf Lodge and Gurney’s, will whip things up for dancers.

Honorees this year are Audrey & Martin Gruss, John Paulson, Jay Lieberman and Megan & Ken Wright, names that are familiar to the world of philanthropy and the Hamptons.

Why was building the East Hampton Emergency Department essential? Up until now, anyone with a health emergency, victims of accidents and car crashes, had to be taken to Stony Brook University Southampton Hospital. From Montauk that can take an hour, worse during heavy traffic. Even from East Hampton it can be 40 minutes. If there were an accident at the horse show, a near-drowning in a pool, someone with heat stroke at the beach–those may require emergency treatment beyond the scope of an ambulance crew.

That’s why the Southampton Hospital Foundation decided to build East Hampton’s Emergency Department alongside its East Hampton Healthcare Center on Pantigo Place. Thus, all of the glamour associated with Saturday night’s event goes toward a very important cause, one that will benefit the community for decades to come.