“It’s like Vegas to me,” said Aida Turturro – arguably the biggest single spender at the annual Southampton Fresh Air Home’s Decorators-Designers-Dealers (DDD) Sale, Auctions and Cocktail Party Gala. Year after year, The Sopranos star and Carolann Sandoval wait on line – one year with Edie Falco – and shop their way through the three hours. This year, we spied Ramona Singer, and longtime supporter Nicole Miller on line as well. The Divergent Series star Ansel Elgort also came out to support the cause. The finds are just that good.
Baroque mirrors! Oversized couches! Outdoor sets! We’ve all been furnishing our homes – and rentals – with their drop dead decorator picks at pennies on the dollar. When your home is stuffed to the gills, turn your attention to the wine: equally special and at least a third off.
Aida has already furnished the homes of friends and, we suspect, strangers with her bulk buying habit. “I just bought things I don’t need,” she laughed of this year’s purchases. “It’s fun to shop, even if you don’t use it or you give it away. It doesn’t matter what you spend or what you buy because it’s really just donating to this great camp.”
B&N Moving and Storage provides an equally discounted moving price. “How could you not, after you’ve seen those kids laughing in camp,” said Rich Nilsson Jr., as he quoted me a $50 delivery price for three small items.
The camp, established in 1901 by a small group of women, is one of the few in the country that provides a summer respite to severely, as well as slightly, physically challenged children. Kids find a loving community and like-minded souls. There are swimming pools, tennis volleys for wheelchair bound, and ways to play basketball. The camp is now open year round for holiday parties, alumni weekends, and outings to Broadway shows, Yankees and Mets games.
Working for them is “a labor of love,” Design & Decoration Chairman Ann Grimm told us, “The children here are so fabulous and to be able to raise money for them is just the best thing in the world.”
Although the donations start in September, when camp is out, Grimm said a lot arrived in the last two weeks. “We had to really scramble, undo what we had done, redo and replay.”
A happy problem for a happy place.
For more information, visit www.sfah.org.