It was the day of Belmont. The bell rang. The throng was off. Not the horses, the shoppers waiting at the Southampton Fresh Air Home 23rd Annual Decorators-Designers-Dealers Sale and Auction Benefit Gala 2015. By the time they gathered to watch the new Triple Crown winner on Saturday, June 6th, it seemed like everything was already sold. And yet, there were treasures galore for those waiting in line for the Sunday half price leftovers. We’ve gotten some of our favorite accent pieces the day after, but that didn’t stop us from waiting on the 5 p.m. line.
This year, there was champagne for those who came early: Benefactor patrons were invited to toast the new Catherine di Montezemolo Administrative Building that opened this spring. “She was an amazing woman, elegant and beautiful, who was on the board for many years,” D-D-D Honorary Co-Chair (with Charlotte Vonstrom Assaf), Sarah Senbahar told Hamptons.com of the building’s namesake. The new building replaces an underground space for staff. “Now the campus can come in and interact,” Sarah said.
She was chatting with Tory Burch, “here because of Sarah,” the designer told us, “and because nothing is better than making children happy.” The D-D-D sales account for 40 percent of the operating costs of the Southampton Fresh Air Home, a non-profit camp for physically challenged kids, which is 114 years old. The antiques and home furnishings have been curated and donated by Southampton’s top designers, at prices so low, one purchase can pay for the price of admission. Auctions feature luxury fashion, travel, entertainment, health and beauty items. The Wine Auction delivers bottles with bragging rights.
Charlotte Bonstrom Assaf and Sarah Senbahar were Honorary Chairmen with Kirsten Solsvig Galef and Barbara Page Glatt as Chairmen. Nicola S. Grant and Silke Tsitidiris served as Vice-Chairmen and Raya Keis Knight was Auction Chairman. Vittorio Assaf, Patricia and Daniel Hope, Max Rohn, Roman Roth and Joey Wolffer were Wine Auction Chairmen. Ann R. Grimm served as Design & Decoration Chairman with Tish Bliss and Christl Meszkat as Design & Decoration Co-Chairmen. Peri Bogert, Maria del Rio, Jane J. Fear, Traudl Geraghty and Ann Yawney were Design and Decoration Vice Chairmen, and Gary P. Crain, Christie Hansen and James Alan Smith were Designers Committee Chairmen.
Some years it felt like “The Sopranos” star Aida Turturro was single-handedly covering the camper’s costs. With BFF Carolann Sandoval, she seemed to blanket the sale with “SOLD: AIDA TURTURRO” stickers. Having filled her own home and those of her friends, Turturro said this was a slower year for her. “I was feeling little under the weather, so, I didn’t go as crazy as I usually do,” she said. “Just a coffee table for my friend who’s getting a house, a lot of rugs (One I have no idea why I bought) and a little table, and a lamp. I wanted to buy a couch for my friend, but it’s hard to get that if they don’t ask.” We caught Aida on “Law and Order” and “Blue Bloods” this year. She’ll go to Sardinia again this summer. “And, when a smart person comes along and casts me in a wonderful role,” she said, “They’re going to be lucky.”
As lucky as we were at the sale, we still had one regret, not buying fast enough and more.
For more information about Southampton Fresh Air Home, visit www.sfah.org.