We attended the annual Unconditional Love Gala in Southampton, NY, benefiting the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation.
Amid the passed hors d’oeuvres and the puppies running around a Gin Lane estate, the annual Unconditional Love Gala, benefiting the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, was a festive space to celebrate man’s best friend. This year it was themed around a whimsical walk in the park, with the tents placed over the tennis court, a variety of booths serving snacks and drinks, as well as the grounds for guests including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Southampton Village Mayor Michael Irving and his wife Ellen, former Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley and his wife Marianne, Martin Shafiroff (husband of Honorary Board Member Jean Shafiroff; dressed in a striking yellow gown), Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, June Jaffee – Executive Director of the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. The event was also supported by Georgina Bloomberg, Anne Hearst and Beth Shak.
Master of ceremonies Chuck Scarborough welcomed more than 300 guests who enjoyed dinner by Pinch Food Design, while Chris Norton and his band provided music for the evening. The evening went deep into the night, but was accented by honoring SASF Co-Founder Sony Schotland and Honorary Board Member Jean Shafiroff, who has chaired the Gala for the previous five years. Philanthropist and author Mrs. Shafiroff has been instrumental in helping the shelter raise nearly $4 million, while Mrs. Schotland has dedicated more than 50 years to saving homeless pets, and was instrumental in making the Southampton Animal Shelter private, with a no-kill policy.
This year’s Unconditional Love Gala exceeded its fundraising goal through donations, pet sponsorships and silent and live auctions, as led by Katie Jacobs. The whole reason for the event is simple: all proceeds go towards SASF’s crucial initiatives. SASF is known for their low-cost spay/neuter mobile van granted by the ASPCA, efforts to rescue animals enslaved in puppy mills, and the daily care of the rescues within the shelter. But its not just about the pets! Proceeds also benefit the shelter’s programs that help special needs children, along with educating and mentoring.