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Southampton, NY

Southampton Hospital Benefit

by Robert Abrams
August 2, 2003
Southampton, NY

Southampton Hospital Benefit

Robert Abrams
August 2, 2003

Intelligence reports suggested that there would be no dancing at the Southhampton Hospital benefit. Hoping these reports were wrong, I threw my dance shoes in the car anyway. When I arrived, I discovered that there was a large dance floor and a live band. The band played a variety of music, including some swing, foxtrot, cha-cha and hustle.

This was a glamorous but casual benefit held under a very large tent decorated with pale blue and white lanterns and umbrellas suspended from the top. Other than the dance floor, the floor of the tent was grass. As a result, the dance floor had a tendency to get slightly wet as people walked across it. This was especially true around the edges of the dance floor and less so after you got two or three feet in.

Early in the evening, there were a few people dancing. As the evening progressed, and especially after Thelma Houston came out to sing, the dance floor was often packed.

This is a benefit that started as a cocktail party and over the years has expanded into its current form, with drinks, buffet dinner, opulent raffle prizes and dancing. Most people came in pairs with a few people by themselves. There were nearly 1000 people there. They raised about $1 million dollars for the hospital.

My dance portion of the evening started with a woman who used to teach ballroom dance and ended with a woman who may not have had training but did have an abundance of enthusiasm and style. Between the two, and plenty of graciousness in between, it was a fabulous evening. The many people out on the dance floor looked like they were having a great time, whether they were swinging, foxtroting, clutching and swaying or moving with abandon.

This is an event I would return to for a cause worth supporting.

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