Each year, The Retreat, a program developed to aid victims of domestic violence, hosts their Artists Against Abuse gala. This year’s gala, on Saturday June 21, 2014, was one of the most successful and most beautiful yet. Countless men and women in support of this great cause gathered together at the Ross School’s lower campus. 2014’s gala’s theme was Midsummer Night Fever—a throwback to the seventies.
Guests were encouraged to wear classic seventies garb to really get involved. The fieldhouse was divided into two by an enormous curtain of clear beads to recognize a cocktail area/bar and the dining area and dance floor.
Cocktails and silent auction were followed by an absolutely incredible meal of Swedish Cuisine. Award-winning Swedish Chef Jonas Dahlbom flew in for the event this past Thursday. The Swedish food king’s meal was a taste of what guests could receive if they were to go to Sweden on one of the live auction’s trips. Given voice by Dr. Gerald Curatola, the live auction was especially successful. Guests continually bid and fought for the items being auctioned. Some of the more priceless ones included a print (sold for $4,000) from Bob Tabor’s horse collection, of which Ralph Lauren owns a majority and showcases in his homes and stores, a trip to Sweden to drive super cars on ice (sold for $4,000), and a lunch with celebrity chef George Hirsch aboard a yacht and the opportunity to have the experience televised on his show (sold for $3,000). The live auction alone raised nearly $73,000.
Artists Against Abuse honored East Hampton’s own Dr. Gerald Curatola and Congressman Tim Bishop for their work in The Retreat and national domestic violence awareness. Special Guest Speaker Sarah Azzara read her story of being a victim of domestic violence and her personal hero, a professor at Arizona State University.
For more information on The Retreat, visit www.theretreatinc.org.