Inside The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s 13th Annual Unconditional Love Gala

The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s 13th Annual Unconditional Love Gala returned to the Hamptons on a beautiful summer evening on storied Gin Lane in Southampton, NY. The grand soiree was among the highlight of this summer season out East to date. Chaired by Jean Shafiroff, the event honored Jonathan McCann, founding President of SASF and William Bratton, former Police Commissioner of New York City. The Honorary Chair was Georgina Bloomberg.

The annual event has been the most important fundraiser for the shelter for over a decade featuring a reception, seated dinner and dancing. In addition, a live and silent auction helped raise much-needed funds for the animals.

Proceeds from this event directly supported the more than 5,000 animals who enter the SASF’s doors each year. The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, open admission, no kill organization, is supported exclusively by donations and grants from the community. From caring and finding homes for stray and abandoned animals to providing low-cost veterinary care and dog training so that animals can remain in their homes, the shelter has become a vital resource in our community. No animal is left behind.

Notable attendees included Bill Bratton, Jean Shafiroff, Jonathan McCann, Martin Shafiroff, Rikki Klieman, Pat Deshong, Rocco DiSpirito, Morgan Oliveira, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Magdalena Schneiderman, NYS Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Jaclyn Brunckhorst, Greg D’Elia, Mayor Jesse Warren, Martyna Sokol, Jill Rappaport, Kim and Greg Dryer, Elizabeth Shafiroff, Debbie Bancroft, Ian Duke, Elena Gibbs, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Ann Liguori, Susie Wagner, Greg D’Elia, Nancy Stone, Terry Moan, Dede Gotthelf, Eve Brookville and David Hochberg.

The Foundation’s Host committee included Antonella Bertello, John Crawford, Rocco DiSpirito, Kim Renk Dryer, Elena Gibbs, Geri Garvin, Missy Hargraves, Asia Lee, Rolise Rachel, Randi Schatz, and Dawn Jessica Strain along with the Team from the foundation including Executive Director Pat Deshong, Operations Director Beatrix Parash, and Director of Marketing, Nicole A. Tumilowicz.

The evening started off with a silent auction as well as a cocktail hour that included chilled, Summer in a Bottle rosè by Wölffer Estate Vineyards, freshly made Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Uni Tequila cocktails, and passed hors d’oeuvres by Robbins Wolfe catering. Attendees were then treated to a three-course meal featuring James Beard Award Winning Chef, Rocco Dispirito’s Tindle chicken parmigiano, an indulgent, plant-based dish.

In her address, Jean Shafiroff Chair of the Gala commented, “we were so pleased to honor Bill Bratton and Jonathan McCann. This year we welcomed both a number of long-standing supporters and in addition many new supporters. We also saw the attendance of many new young juniors — which is wonderful as they represent the next generation of animal lovers and supporters”.

Highlights of the live and silent auction items included: The Boca Raton, Sailhamptons with a Hinckley picnic boat, Atlantis Bahamas, Sun Valley Resort, Yacht Kingfisher, The Baker House 1650, London Jewelers, and artwork from Camilla Webster, Leila Pinto, Hakob Hakobian, and George Schulman. Other items included tickets to The New York Knicks, Rangers, Mets, and Islanders, as well as tickets to a Billy Joel concert (to be attended in his private booth).

The gift bags included a $250 serum by Clinical Skin, $100 gift card from Bionova, Aloisa beauty, socks by Bombas, Petralyte, Cafe Vitoria, Serenity Tea, Kim Renk Jewelry, Burlap & Barrel Royal Cinnamon, and gluten-free nut bread by Rocco DiSpirito. Generous restaurant donations were made by The American Hotel, Dopo La Spiaggia, Union Steak & Sushi, Union Burger, Page 63, The Bell & Anchor, Lulu Kitchen & Bar, Manna, and Sen Restaurants.

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Tony Bowles, Contributing Columnist

Tony Bowles, Contributing Columnist

Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food, and more! Based in New York City