36th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show Begins Today – Society-In-Focus to Attend Sunday

Hurricane Irene may have delayed the start of the 36th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show, but the tents are back up and the grounds are ready for the show to begin!  The Classic was scheduled to begin on August 28th but will instead begin today, August 31, 2011.  The schedule had to be compressed from 8 days to 5, but they managed to keep almost all the events and classes as planned.  Horses began arriving yesterday and from what we hear, the grounds crew did such a great job at cleaning up after the storm that it doesn’t even look like we had one!

Society-In-Focus will be attending the show this weekend on Sunday, September 4th.  We have received our media credentials to photograph for a couple of hours inside the VIP tent where there will probably be some celebrity sightings!  We plan on staying for the culmination of the event which is the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Qualifier.  Please check back with us at the beginning of next week to see all the photos from the event!

Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available on the Hampton Classic website or by calling (631) 537-3177.  The revised schedule can be found here.

Society-In-Focus Attends the Inagural Festive in Flip Flops Event

On Saturday, August 20th, we drove out to the exclusive Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club to photograph the first ever Festive in Flip Flops event to benefit the American Cancer Society and to highlight ACS’s efforts on Eastern Long Island.  Usually the ACS NY area events are held in New York City, but so much of their work benefits our local Hamptons and East End communities that it was finally time to have a local event in recognition.

We arrived a little early while the beautiful dining room was still being set up.  Crisp white tablecloths and turquoise linen napkins, white votive candles, and centerpieces of metal buckets containing FlipOut Sandals flip-flops created a lovely tablescape.  The flip-flops were given to all the women in attendance.  In the next room was a large bar where rows and rows of sparkling wine glasses were lined up ready to be filled.  Along two edges of this room and a smaller adjoining room were tons of items for the silent auction.  Autographed sports memorabilia, an original painting by Diane Romanello, gift baskets, and jewelry were just some of the items available to bid on.

"Paradise Dreams" by Diane Romanello
"Paradise Dreams" by Diane Romanello

Soon the guests began arriving dressed in summery, festive attire.  They were greeted with refreshments and filtered in through the auction table room and then onto the outdoor deck overlooking the beach.  We met co-chairs Sherri Abruzzese and Gopa Dobson, as well as Buddy Valastro, the “Cake Boss” from Carlo’s Bakery, Ronnie Rothstein from Kleinfeld’s and “Say Yes to the Dress,” designer Carmen Marc Valvo, sports broadcaster Ann Liguori, Bill Koenigsberg from Horizon Media, actor Mark Feuerstein, star of “Royal Pains” who emceed this event, Martin and Jean Shafiroff, and over 200 other sponsors and guests.

Bill Koenigsberg, Joe Abruzzese, Rick Passarelli, Joseph Smith, Buddy Valastro, Greg D'Alba, David Levey, Ronnie Rothstein
Bill Koenigsberg, Joe Abruzzese, Rick Passarelli, Joseph Smith, Buddy Valastro, Greg D'Alba, David Levey, Ronnie Rothstein
Mark Feuerstein, Gopa Dobson
Mark Feuerstein, Gopa Dobson

The outdoor deck definitely seemed like the most popular spot to hang out that evening.  There was a beautiful cool breeze outside and a smaller bar was set up on the deck as well.  The cocktail hour was only scheduled for 6:30-7:30, but everyone was having such a good time mingling that the dinner portion of the evening didn’t really get underway until closer to 8:30 when popular cover band The Touch began their set.  A child from Camp Adventure was scheduled to give a speech followed by a balloon auction to send another child to the sleep-away camp on Shelter Island.

Frank Weiser, Myra Weiser, Sherri Abruzzese
Frank Weiser, Myra Weiser, Sherri Abruzzese
Buddy Valastro, Mady Schuman
Buddy Valastro, Mady Schuman

For an inaugural event, this summer bash seemed to go off without a hitch with a wonderfully large turnout.  We were happy to attend this summer party and we hope our photos can help bring further recognition to the American Cancer Society and encourage more support for its critical programs and services on Long Island.

This Weekend…Society-In-Focus to Shoot “Festive in Flip Flops”

On Saturday, August 20th, Society-In-Focus will be attending the inaugural “Festive in Flip Flops” Hamptons summer bash to benefit the American Cancer Society at the Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club.

The event is being held to recognize over 50 years of service by the American Cancer Society on Long Island.  During the past year alone, they have provided cancer patients with nearly 2,000 rides to and from their treatments.  Camp Adventure on Shelter Island hosts 150 children with cancer and their siblings in August each year. The Society also has six active grants at two Long Island research facilities – Stony Brook University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.  This represents a current, local investment of more than $3 million.  Proceeds will help support its services in the area including the North and South Fork.

The festivities kick off at 6:30 with a cocktail hour followed by dinner and dancing at 7:30 featuring music by The Touch.  The emcee for the evening will be Mark Feuerstein, star of TV’s “Royal Pains.”  Co-chairs are Discovery Channel’s executive Joe Abruzzese’s wife, Sheri Abruzzese, and Gopa Dobson.  Silver sponsors include Bobby Van’s Restaurants, Carlo’s Bakery (Buddy Valastro from “Cake Boss” is scheduled to be in attendance), Ronnie Rothstein from “Say Yes to the Dress,” Kleinfeld, Michael and Mary Levine Foundation, Turner Broadcasting/CNN, and Vivaki.  Among the other 250 guests expected to attend are designer Carmen Marc Valvo and sports broadcaster Ann Liguori as well as many other important people in the cable TV industry.  Both live and silent auctions will take place to raise money for the ACS.

The event will be presented by Discovery Communications and Horizon Media.

Be sure to check back with us after the event to see all of the photos!

Society-In-Focus Attends the 7th Annual Authors Night at the East Hampton Library

This past Saturday, August 13th, 2011, we fought the traffic on Montauk Highway and made our way out to the East Hampton Library for the 7th Annual Authors Night.

Parking was a little difficult to come by, but we managed to find a spot just across the street.  We checked in at the press table with Keri Lamparter from Keri Lamparter Communications where we received a placard to wear around our necks that said “PRESS” so everyone would know we weren’t just attendees (as if the camera equipment wouldn’t have given it away!)

The giant tent was already full of guests scouting out their favorite authors.  Four long rows of tables, with a few more rows of intersecting tables, were filled with over 160 authors in alphabetical order.  Each one sat behind a stack of their books ready to meet and greet their fans. The honor system was employed for the book sales.  Guests were invited to take books from the authors’ tables, have them inscribed, and then take all of their selections to one of the cashiers one one side of the tent.  All proceeds went directly to benefit the library.

Susan Lucci
Susan Lucci

We, like many others, immediately went to Susan Lucci‘s table to snap some photos of the soap star before it got too crowded.  Mrs. Lucci was so sweet and accommodating to everyone who came to meet her including us.  She posed gracefully for pictures and signed copies of her book, “All My Life,” for so many people that she quickly sold out of all the copies she had brought!  Joining Mrs. Lucci were a few other celebrity authors including comedian Robert Klein, Howard Stern’s wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, Bravo’s Mary McDonald, and long-time talk show host and honorary co-chair, Dick Cavett.

Robert Klein
Robert Klein
Beth Ostrosky Stern
Beth Ostrosky Stern
Dick Cavett
Dick Cavett

We walked up and down the rows photographing author after author who were proud to showcase their works.  So many of them had groups of people huddled around their tables and everyone looked to be having a fantastic time.  The guests really enjoyed talking to the authors in person about their books and their personal stories and the authors, in turn, loved meeting their readers and hearing their feedback as well.  We, too, got to meet and shake hands with a lot of the writers, many of whom are local to the Hamptons and all were happy to join us in supporting the East Hampton Library.

Kathy Freston and Danyelle Freeman
Kathy Freston and Danyelle Freeman

In addition to the opportunity to meet the authors, guests were treated to some delicious hors d’ouevres such as raw vegetables, cheese and crackers, chicken skewers, sushi, and freshly shucked oysters along with red and white wines.  Some authors provided snacks of their own such as homemade chocolate chip cookies and delicious blueberry bars…both of which our self-proclaimed dessert connoisseur, Pamela Napoli, sampled and approved of LOL!

Local radio station Peconic Public Broadcasting 88.3 FM had a table set up outside with microphones where they were interviewing several of the authors.  Small tables and chairs were set up nearby for guests to watch the interviews and sit down to enjoy their food and drinks.

Later in the evening, actor and co-founder Chair of the Authors Night event, Alec Baldwin, made an appearance.  He paused briefly for some photographs outside the tent and then made his way inside to meet many of the authors in attendance.  The weather on Saturday was hot and humid and the hundreds of people crowded inside a giant tent made the air feel like 100 degrees.  Mr. Baldwin quickly removed his jacket but still got sweaty like the rest of us 🙂  As the evening wore on, more people spilled out onto the lawn outside the tent to get some air after they were done making their book selections.  Many authors sold out of their books and soon joined the guests outside the tent.

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin

Around 8PM, several guests left for the second half of the event which consisted of intimate dinners with some of the authors at private residences.  All in all, we think this was a very successful event and we’re happy to hopefully provide some exposure to both the East Hampton Library and also to many of the authors and their latest books!

East Hampton Library
East Hampton Library

To see all the photos from the event, click here!

This Weekend…Society-In-Focus to Shoot Authors Night at the East Hampton Library

On Saturday, August 13th, Society-In-Focus will be photographing the 7th Annual Authors Night to benefit the East Hampton Library.

Authors Night consists of two parts, an Author’s Reception and private dinners.  The Authors Reception will begin at 5PM under a tent on the library grounds and will feature drinks and hors d’oeurves with over 160 authors available to sell and sign copies of their books.  Guests are invited to bring their own copies of any of the authors’ books as well for personal inscription.  At 8PM, many guests will join some of the guest authors for dinner at various private homes around the Hamptons.

What began as a few dinners with a few hundred guests just six years ago, Authors Night has evolved into the biggest literary event of the Hamptons with over 1,000 people expected to attend this year.  All proceeds go directly to the East Hampton Library.

Actor Alec Baldwin is co-chairing the event along with author of “Obsessive Genius,” Barbara Goldsmith.  Honorary co-chairs this year are Robert A. Caro, Dick Cavett, Michael Connelly, and Nelson DeMille.  Among the other authors expected to attend are “All My Children”‘s Susan Lucci, comedian Robert Klein, former NY Yankee Jim Leyritz, and Howard Stern’s wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern.  For a full list of expected authors, click here.  Check back with us on Monday to see all the photos from this weekend’s event!

Society-In-Focus Attends the 53rd Annual Southampton Hospital Summer Party

Click here to view all our photos from the 53rd Annual Southampton Hospital Summer Party!

On Saturday, August 6th, we joined over 800 guests at the glamorous 53rd Annual Southampton Hospital Summer Party to benefit the Jenny and John Paulson Emergency Department.

We arrived at the event a little after 6PM as the ominous cloud-filled sky threatened to open up at any moment.  We immediately met up with Norah Lawlor of Lawlor Media Group who directed her staff to check us in at the press table and got our glittery green press bracelets.   The air was humid, but there was a slight breeze as the first guests started to arrive.  This year’s theme was “A Tropical Paradise” and many attendees arrived at the palm tree-lined tents in beautiful flowery dresses and summery suits complete with orchids and other flowers in their hair and on their lapels.  As the rain continued to hold off, luxury car after car lined up on Old Town Road as far down as we could see to reach the valet attendants and deposit their riders onto the lawn of the party grounds.  This seemingly constant procession of cars continued for the entire hour and a half we were shooting!

Benefit Chair for the second year in a row was Jean Shafiroff who wore a beautiful long white gown with green leaf detail by Oscar de la Renta.  Last year she successfully helped raise $1.7 million for the hospital and was expected to bring in another $2 million with this year’s event.  Her husband, Martin Shafiroff, and their daughters Elizabeth and Jackie attended the benefit as well.  Elizabeth wore a bright yellow Herve Leger bandage dress while Jackie wore one of her mother’s vintage Oscar de la Renta dresses.

Jean Shafiroff
Jean Shafiroff
Elizabeth Shafiroff, Martin Shafiroff, Jackie Shafiroff
Elizabeth Shafiroff, Martin Shafiroff, Jackie Shafiroff

Mrs. Shafiroff was joined by many notables including Robert Chaloner, President and CEO of Southampton Hospital, Master of Ceremonies, Chuck Scarborough and his wife Ellen Ward Scarborough who turned heads in a long form-fitting white crocheted dress, Real Housewives of New York City Ramona Singer wearing a lovely summery floral dress and Sonja Morgan whose hair was done up with beautiful white feathers, and Senator Kenneth P. Lavalle, just to name a few.

Ellen Ward Scarborough
Ellen Ward Scarborough
Bob Chaloner, Sen. Kenneth P. Lavalle
Bob Chaloner, Sen. Kenneth P. Lavalle
Melanie Wambold, Sharon Kerr, Jean Shafiroff, Nancy Stone, Laura Lofaro Freeman
Melanie Wambold, Sharon Kerr, Jean Shafiroff, Nancy Stone, Laura Lofaro Freeman
Sonja Morgan
Sonja Morgan

Inside the tents, guests were greeted by a beautifully decorated tropical paradise getaway designed by Tony Urrutia.  Bamboo, palms, and orchids formed the table centerpieces and waiters passed around cocktails which included a tropical blue drink with a floating pineapple cube.  A silent auction was held until 9:30 to help raise money for the hospital featuring items like a five day Paris getaway, dermatological services, beautiful handbags, and jewelry.  By 8PM, most of the guests had taken their seats inside the seemingly magically lit tent for dinner as the Alex Donner Orchestra began to play and the aroma of the delicious meal to come catered by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs filled the now chilly evening air.  Overall we had a great time shooting this successful event.  We saw a lot of familiar faces and met a lot of new ones who we hope to see again soon!

Stephanie Hessler, Laura Lofaro Freeman, Cindy Willis, Jean Shafiroff, Sara Herbert Galloway, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Katlean De Monchy
A Rainbow of Dresses...Stephanie Hessler, Laura Lofaro Freeman, Cindy Willis, Jean Shafiroff, Sara Herbert Galloway, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Katlean De Monchy
The Dinner Tent
The Dinner Tent

This Weekend…Society-In-Focus to Shoot the 53rd Annual Southampton Hospital Summer Party

This Saturday, August 6th, Society-In-Focus will be headed out to Wickapogue Road to attend the Southampton Hospital Summer Party for the third year in a row!  This year’s event is themed “A Tropical Paradise” and is being held to benefit The Jenny and John Paulson Emergency Department at Southampton Hospital.  The Summer Party always proves to be one of, if not THE, most important events in the Southampton social season and is a very important fundraiser for the hospital.

Distinguished guests this year include: Master of Ceremonies – Chuck Scarborough; Benefit Chair – Jean Shafiroff; Honorary Commercial Real Estate Chair – Cushman and Wakefield; Honorary  Corporate Chair – Barclays Wealth; Honorary Residential Real Estate Chair – Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Honorary Jewelry Chair – Tiffany & Co.; Executive Vice Chairs – Laura Lofaro Freeman, Marion Piro, and Nancy Stone; Circle Sponsor Chairs – Jenny and John Paulson; Board Liason – Jean Remmel FitzSimmons; Raffle and Silent Auction Chairs – Andrea Greeven Douzet and NancyJane Lowey; Journal Chairs – Sharon Kerr and Christine Smith Gray; Underwriting Chair – Debra Tanger; Media Partner – The Plum Network; Gift Bag Chair – Raya Keis Knight; President’s Committee Chairs – William B. Finneran and Nancy and Peter Larsen; Arrangements Chairs – Diane Holmes and Allessandra Hubbell; Men’s Committee Chair – Dr. Frank Weiser; and Design Chair – Tony Urrutia.

The gala starts with cocktails at 6:30 followed by dinner and dancing at 8 under the tents.  A silent auction and a raffle will be held as well.  Below are some photos from the last two  Southampton Hospital Summer Parties and be sure to check back on Monday for pictures from this year’s event!

Christie Brinkley
Christie Brinkley
Ellen Ward Scarborough, Chuck Scarborough
Ellen Ward Scarborough, Chuck Scarborough
Jean Shafiroff
Jean Shafiroff
James Fairchild, Somers Farkas, Whitney Fairchild
James Fairchild, Somers Farkas, Whitney Fairchild
Jean Remmel FitzSimmons, Sheila O'Malley Fuchs, Ann Grimm
Jean Remmel FitzSimmons, Sheila O'Malley Fuchs, Ann Grimm

The Hampton Classic

Time flies when you’re having fun…can you believe we’re already halfway through the summer already?! Before you know it we’ll be nearing the end and you know what that means…time for the annual Hampton Classic! This year the 36th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show returns to Bridgehampton, August 28-September 4 for an entire week of exciting equestrian competition.

The Hampton Classic is a world-class competition on 60 acres of showgrounds featuring six show rings. The nation’s top professional and amateur riders will compete in various events such as the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix Qualifier on Friday, September 2nd, the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World CupT Qualifier on Sunday, September 4th, and for the first time, the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday, September 3rd.

The Classic also features entertainment, first class dining, and a Boutique Garden with more than 70 high-end vendors. Monday, August 29th will provide an opportunity to adopt animals from local dog and cat shelters and horse rescue groups. This ASPCA Adoption Day will be hosted by Grand Prix rider Georgina Bloomberg and “Today Show” correspondent Jill Rappaport. Cablevision Kids’ Day on Saturday, September 3rd will feature children’s activities all day.

In 2009 we were happy to shoot the 34th Annual Hampton Classic. That same year the Hampton Classic became only the second horse show ever to receive the status of Heritage Competition by the United States Equestrian Federation. Here are some photos from in and around the VIP tent…

Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos
Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos

Hampton Classic

Whitney Fairchild, James Fairchild
Whitney Fairchild, James Fairchild

Hampton Classic

Estelita “Dushy” Roth
Estelita “Dushy” Roth

Click here for more photos from the 2009 Hampton Classic!

Society-In-Focus Attends the HEAT Cocktail Party in Support of the Ellen Hermanson Foundation

For all gallery photos, click here.

On Saturday, July 30th, we had the privilege of attending the annual HEAT gala cocktail party benefiting the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at Southampton Hospital and Ellen’s Well.

We arrived at the gorgeous West Kill Farm estate of photographer Steven Klein in Bridgehampton around 6PM.  A golf cart whisked us through a tiki torch lit vineyard and up to the party area.  The tent quickly filled with guests all enjoying the beautiful summer weather and music provided by DJ Chachi.

Hostess Rosanna Scotto kicked off the event by mentioning the live auctions taking place and then later introduced Ellen Hermanson’s sister and Chair of the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Julie Ratner. Julie welcomed everyone to the benefit and called her sister and Vice Chair, Emily Levin, up to the stage to stand by her.

Emily Levin, Julie Ratner
Emily Levin, Julie Ratner

This year’s event honored Kim Cattrall for “Friendship Extraordinaire”, Kathie Lee Gifford for her “Humanitarian Efforts on Behalf of Children” and Hoda Kotb for “Inspiring Us With Her Grace, Grit, and Courage”.  All three women were presented with beautiful singing bowls featuring a plaque with these words on them.  Honorary Chair, Donna Karan, was also in attendance.

Hoda Kotb, Kim Cattrall, Kathie Lee Gifford
Hoda Kotb, Kim Cattrall, Kathie Lee Gifford
Donna Karan and Her Granddaughter McKenzie
Donna Karan and Her Granddaughter McKenzie

Following the award ceremony, Julie reminded everyone of a past auction that sold for $20,000 when Kim Cattrall offered to throw in lunch.  This year Kathie Lee and Hoda came up with an impromptu offer to take someone out to lunch and a Broadway show if they could get a $10,000 donation.  Kim Cattrall said she’d join them for lunch as well.  Corcoran Group’s Robby Browne quickly raised his hand  and won the lunch date with the ladies.  It was a pretty exciting moment for everyone!

The rest of the evening was spent photographing and mingling with more guests.  Steven Klein made an appearance with his two Great Danes, “Krueger” and “Brando,” and the party started spilling out of the tent onto his sprawling property to enjoy the sunset.  A bonfire pit, a beautiful infinity pool, and even a teepee were points of interest for all the guests.

Steven Klein
Steven Klein

Overall it seemed like a successful event which hopefully raised a lot of money for the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center and Ellen’s Well.  The party was also the kickoff to the 16th Annual Ellen’s Run on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 9AM starting at Parrish Memorial Hall at Southampton Hospital in Southampton, NY.  Below are some additional photos from the evening and click here for the full gallery:

Hoda Kotb, Kim Cattrall, Kathie Lee Gifford
Hoda Kotb, Kim Cattrall, Kathie Lee Gifford
Singing Bowls Awarded to Kim Cattrall, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb
Singing Bowls Awarded to Kim Cattrall, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb
Julie Ratner, Kim Cattrall
Julie Ratner, Kim Cattrall
Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Robby Browne, Kim Cattrall
Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Robby Browne, Kim Cattrall
Joe Radano, Cassie Spreitzer (Plum TV)
Joe Radano, Cassie Spreitzer (Plum TV)