Woof Woof Meow at the Bow Wow Ball

What an evening! It was August 19, the night ARF held its first Gala in its new William P. Rayner Training Center, an 8,400-square-foot facility that had been transformed for the night into an event space. The work had been done by  Broadview Gardens and The Sag Harbor Florist on a level far above the one that transforms the high-school gymnasium into a high school dance hall with a few streamers and balloons.

Chuck Scarborough, Board President Kathy Rayner, Ellen Scarborough (photo Lisa Tamburini)

The master of ceremonies was Chuck Scarborough, and the 350 guests included Bruce Weber, Peter Marino, Governor Kathy Hochul, the Suffolk County DA Ray Tierney and many loyal supporters of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.

Peter Marino, Nancy Rigby and guest (photo Lisa Tamburini)

The annual event raises one-third of the organization’s annual operating fund, which goes to support adoptions at the no-kill shelter, and offers homes to abandoned and homeless dogs and cats. They also provide dog training, wellness and vaccine clinics and other programs.

Richard (Dick) McCabe and Kelly McCabe Bickle, MD (photo Lisa Tamburini)

The evening proceeded from a long cocktail hour outdoors through dinner.

Marie Aloisi, Lisa Romano, Pat Francine and Rohit Manocha (Photo by Jared Siskin/PMC)

There was a celebrity chef who had prepared dinner for the Met Gala before Covid. The Peter Duchin Orchestra provided the music. And then, what was for some, their favorite part of the program. The parade of ARF’s resident animals.

(Photo by Jared Siskin/PMC)

And there was more in store. The auctioneer,  Jason Lamoreaux, showed a video detailing the work of the Animal Rescue Fund. One segment showed a kitten that had been stuck to a glue trap  in Montauk. A feral kitten, to be sure, who had been looking for a meal. ARF took him in, of course, and gave him an appropriate name: “Sticky.”

Martin and Audrey Gruss (photo Lisa Tamburini)

If your heart doesn’t go out to a kitten stuck in a glue trap, well, then you don’t have a heart. That’s what Jason Lamoreaux was counting on when he began the bidding on the items that night.


Bruce Weber (photo Lisa Tamburini)

Other attendees included Nan Bush, Ellen Scarborough, Emilia Saint Amand, Diana and Marvin Chudnoff, Martin and Audrey Gruss, Virginia Coleman, Christina and Alan McDonald, Lisa and Brian McCarthy, Kathy Rayner, Gordon Hoppe, Samantha Rudin Earls, Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson.

Nathan Bernstein and Katharina Otto-Bernstein (photo Lisa Tamburini)

In addition Andrew Sabin was there along with Mike and Pat Franzino, Robert and Barbara Liberman, Margit and Blair Brandt, Peggy Siegal, Kathleen and Charlie Marder, Ralph Gibson and James Wright, Olivia Chantecaille, John and Dina Burns, and Congressman Nick LaLota.

That was Saturday night. By Sunday night, seven animals from the shelter had been adopted and the two dogs featured on the invitation were adopted. They were a pair of bonded, aging cocker spaniels, Abigail, 15, who was blind, and Leo, 12.

Abigail and Leo — adopted!

There is no question that other support for ARF comes from donors and sponsors, including Lexus of SouthamptonMercedes Benz of Southampton, and Margit Brandt Palm Beach. They deserve mention, along with the Marders and Petrocelli Contracting.

ARF of the Hamptons can continue its work because of the support it receives from the community, its people and its businesses.

— Linda Lee

Linda Lee is a former writer and editor at The New York Times