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Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley Host an Intimate Hamptons Dinner to Benefit the New York City Mission Society

Monday, September 16, 2013
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Now that the mayhem of Fashion Week is behind us, we at AVENUEinsider would like to backtrack just a bit to the lazy, idyllic summer days – and weekends – which already seem like a world away even though it has been a mere two weeks since that season came to an official close.

On Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley, along with distinguished Event Committee Members Lizzi Bickford, Charles Bullock, Cornelia Bregman, John U. Moorhead, Stanley Rumbough, and Jean Shafiroff, welcomed a select group of friends and supporters to their private estate for a dinner to benefit the New York City Mission Society.

The soiree was a truly intimate one – in other words, no tents or porta potties set up in the backyard. The crowd of about 50 – among them Martha Stewart, Ambassador Bonnie McElveen Hunter, Sharon Bush, Brooke Laing and actress Julianne Michelle – mixed and mingled throughout the foyer and outside on the patio, where a couple of bars were set up as well as a handful of tables for when dinner time rolled around. The feel was not that of a generic Hamptons benefit, but that of an evening with friends.

Of course, there was an important cause to be celebrated that night, and in this respect the Mission Society truly is a family affair.  The evening marked the thirtieth anniversary of board service by Stanley Rumbough, son of Dina Merrill. A proud descendant of the Colgate and Rumbough families, Mr. Rumbough has continued the legacy of service to the New York City Mission Society – seven generations, to be exact.

“We are truly blessed. The generosity of our committee members and guests is absolutely amazing,” said Maria Orengo, the Society’s Interim Executive Director. “This support allows us to continue to do the necessary work to help break the cycle of poverty for New York City’s children, youth and families.” Committee Member Jean Shafiroff added that she had the opportunity to visit the Harlem based Minisink Townhouse program site last year and was “inspired by the incredible work of the staff and the program participants.” She encouraged all of the guests to continue to support the organization.

The guests then sat down to dinner, which was accompanied by Grucci fireworks and followed by a live musical performance by Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas and cabaret singer Cole Rumbough – the ever rising talent (and son of Stanley) who is admirably continuing the family tradition with the Mission Society – he established a Junior Board just this year. Expect to hear much more about the group this season.

The evening was also a celebration of 200 Years of the Mission Society – easily one of, if not the oldest, multi-service, community based organizations targeting under served communities. Back in New York, the Society continued the celebration – and kicked off the fall season – this past Wednesday with a celebration at designer Paule Ka’s Madison Avenue atelier. Co-hosted by What2WearWhere, the cocktail and shopping fete drew many of the same Mission Society supporters, plus some additional boldfacers like Karen Klopp, Hilary Dick, Christine Schott, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Chele Chiavacci, and Richard Farley.
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by AVENUE MagazinePhotographed by Billy Farrall