Hampton Happenings This Past Weekend
There was an abundance of Hampton Happenings this past weekend. On Saturday, July 14th I attended the Orphans International Cocktail Benefit at David and Sarah Ehrlich's spectacular Peconic Bay-side residence in Southampton. Sarah Ehrlich, Executive Director with the help of Benefit Chairmen Helen Gifford, Vincent Horcasitas, Sara Herbert-Galloway, Jill Zarin and all hosted the organizations first annual Hamptons summer fundraiser, a cocktail reception and silent auction sponsored by Trump Vodka.
Help for Orphans International is a non-profit organization which provides superior education facilities and materials for orphans around the world. The organization currently works with nine schools in Kenya which cater to children left parentless by the AIDS epidemic and is also currently working overtime on creating and building new facilities as well as renovating existing facilities.
During our interview Sara Ehrlich revealed that she became involved in the organization in 2004 and wanted to make an impact in helping orphan children by opening orphan schools that have sleeping facilities. Sara is totally dedicated to Help for Orphans International. The organization improves the lives of as many orphans as possible. In addition to the state-of-the-art phonics, reading, life and study skills courses that are easy to teach and self-paced, Help for Orphans International also trains teachers to create a specific curriculum to provide their students with skills that are relevant to their community.
In many of the orphanages Help for Orphans International's mission is to reach out to certain basic needs before they can begin the educational process. Help for Orphans provides necessary nutrition, purified water, clothing and other needed supplies in order to establish an effective learning environment.
Editor in Chief of Hamptons.com Nicole B. Brewer, Victoria Secret Model Cynthia Kirschner, Film Producer Matt Fortnow and world renowned artist Colette were some of the celebrities that attended the event to show their support.
In South Hampton there was an exhibit of Artist Russell Young which was hosted by TV Talk Show Host Kelly Ripa and her hubby Mark Consuelos at the Keszlar Gallery. Titled "Pig Portraits," Mr. Young's series of silk-screened paintings catches images of such icons as Frank Sinatra, Sid Vicious and Juliette Lewis après bust. Young hones the special quality and texture of the original images, then enlarges them to an unforgettable size. Color of course is an important issue and plays a significant role. The artist bathes his subjects in washed-out hues of subdued yellows or faded pinks. "I've been discussing the blacks for the past two weeks," the artist mentions. The best of the bunch, however, comes from out of the blue: Young's rendering of Al Pacino, unfazed, staring back at the camera from somewhere in 1961. Artist Russell Young provocatively describes his famous Pig Portraits are a reaction to his old career as a celebrity photographer and video director. His anticelebrity portraits - like this mug shot of Frank Sinatra - speak to "the glamour in the dark side of crime, fame, sex, drugs and rock and roll."
Although Kelly Ripa and her affectionate husband Mark were the host they did not stay. The handsome couple posed for a photo-op and left abruptly as all big celebrities did this weekend including editor and chief of Hamptons.com Nicole B. Brewer and Gina Glickman from News 12 to see Prince in concert at Hampton Social concerts at the Ross School in East Hampton. The buzz around town was Prince's concert. The much anticipated hyped concert series has received enormous mass media attention not just for its line-up — primarily featuring hugely successful singing artists who are, nonetheless, over 40 and lacking major hits since the millennium began — but for its ticket price: $15,000 a pop. Is Prince really worth that? Regardless, Hamptonites and movie stars like Angelica Houston, Leo DiCaprio also TV Star Kelly Ripa including Recording Artist Kid Rock and Bon Jovi were there to see Prince perform. Apparently they must have all thought the staggering price of $15,000 for Prince was worth it. In addition to Prince, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds will perform on July 28, Billy Joel on August 4, James Taylor on August 11, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on August 25.
The star-studded shows were originally coordinated by Bulldog Entertainment Group, a New York and Beverly Hills based company. The Bulldog company will donate approximately $987,000 to the Ross School “in cash and tickets.” The money is being allotted for the school’s scholarship fund. Show stopping Aretha Franklin performed at the benefit last year. The public relations firm that is handling this high profile event is none other than infamous Lizzie Grubman.
According to Ms. Grubman, Bulldog has planned a similar series of concerts in Aspen, London, and Dubai. Next summer, she said, they hoped to come back to East Hampton. Lizzie also has plans for Magician David Blaine, an escape artist recently known for his “drowned alive” stunt, will be making an appearance. Recently Mr. Blaine submerged himself for seven days last year in a water-filled sphere at New York City’s Lincoln Center while astonished onlookers gazed into the life-sized gold fish bowl he inhabited. The talent was selected to best fit the taste of the Hamptons crowd, Ms. Grubman specifically explained. Each concert will be themed after the headlining performer, she added, with Mr. Joel’s concert having a “Billy Joel feel,” and Prince’s show having a “Prince feel.” But controversial Prince has not stopped at the staggering $15,000 a ticket to see his concert as part of his publicity campaign. Pop star Prince has sparked fury among music retailers by giving away his latest album in a Sunday newspaper. The famous pop star is giving away copies of 'Planet Earth' his latest project in the Mail on Sunday and also at a series of London concerts starting next month. Paul Quirk, co-chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association, reveals Prince's decision to give away the album, which is not scheduled to go on sale until July 24 "beggared belief".
"The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behavior like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores. It's an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career," Quirk exclaims. What does Prince say about all of this? "It's direct marketing and I don't have to be in the speculation business of the record industry which is going through a lot of tumultuous times right now."
Until my next Celebrity Gossip Darlings
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