Gurney's Inn
May 23, 2007


The Society Column

Hi, I'm Muffin Topper-Smith, and I'm really delighted all of you busy ladies could attend and thank you ever so much for making me the chairperson of the Benefit Committee of the Southampton Daughters of the American Revolution. Today I'd just like to briefly outline the charitable events we have planned for the summer and the people who will benefit by the funds we raise because it is so important for all of us to give back.

We'll be starting out Memorial Day with a luncheon at the Devon Yacht Club catered by Chef Michi – that's right, applause is in order! Now, we've already named the steering committee for this wonderful event: I believe Zoλ Hilton will be choosing the flowers, Aimee-Leigh Brockett-Mears has chosen the music, and our guest speaker will be Robin Presser, author of Today's Woman, The Me in I. The luncheon will be a benefit for the Southampton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution so be sure to sign up!

Next Friday evening at the Becker-Browne compound on Ocean Road will be an extra special affair. This is our annual "Get A Life" benefit and we have a very special surprise guest, a genuine Latino! That's right! I dare say this will be a special evening indeed thank you. He's from the Bronx, his name is Jose, and he's going to talk about how hard it is to be a minority in our society. After his little talk he's going to demonstrate how to carve designs onto privet hedges!

In honor of our guest we will be serving ethnic food, so be prepared! There will be nachos with our martinis and tacos for dinner. After our guest leaves we will bring out a chilled terrine of salmon, cucumber and avocado and a wonderful white truffle and yellow squash puree prepared by Sven Bonaparte from Mellon's in West Palm Beach so do stay!

Now for the Fourth of July we will have a benefit for a terrible disease that strikes not only we of the, shall I say, Upper Crust, but little people of all nationalities as well.

Chessy Fuller, Mardie-Anne Hearst, and Betty Schonweiss will tri-chair the event, which we've dubbed "Iron Out Wrinkles." Now this is fabulously important, darlings, and all of you really must be at your best. Amy Weinstein, Sarah Kipplinger-Goldberg, and Nesta Schulman will be in charge of the Finance Committee.

Now ladies, please pay attention. As you know, our own Southampton Hospital, as always, is losing millions upon millions of dollars this year and the fine folks there, who do such marvelous work, stitching and testing and plucking and all ­and they do so much ­ count on our support. Now I know, I know, none of us actually go there – I mean, my God – but we all have staff members who have babies, drink too much, and I have moles and cosmetic surgery, so it's oh-so-important we make a good show of pretending we care.

Merideth Ranier-Chase has graciously agreed to put the gala together. Mitzi, Margot, Tiffany, Dina, Deanna, Traci, LeeLee, and Taffy, you'll be on the Welcoming Committee.

We'll need some of the men to get their golf course buddies here, so let's ask Blake, Randolph and Robbie to

puleeze get serious and compile a list of Fortune 500 types to bankroll this little shindig, shall we?

Now, the menu. Lobster, is so, so, 1954. Filet mignon gives me the shivers! I say something light, light and marvelous, breezy and elegant. Llewellyn, why don't you call Pierre and ask him to put something together but keep it under $100,000, that dear boy he knows how to spend, I do say!

Now, we all know Amber, Dickie, Gigi, Willy, Bitsy and the rest of the younger set expect to throw another of their beach shindigs so let's not let them down!

I've been told Vanderbilt Knowles, through his music publishing company, has agreed to reach out to one of the really hip black singers the kids seem to tolerate so well. I mean my goodness is it Johnny Mathis or is he not hip? Tee hee! Well whomever we can get I'm sure it will be jolly good fun for the twins and their friends.

Now the kids do still barbecue, so I've asked Bobby Flay to put a little something together, maybe some ribs – not the ones we've had removed darlings! – and I guess corn on the cob and some fried chicken for the musicians. So let's set that date for August 17 – we'll use the Hilton beach, of course, to discourage any additional, shall we say unwelcome guests.

Now I want to discuss a very special event to me. As you know, we almost lost Mumsy last year – thank you, thank you very much yes the old prune is still with us – and she always enjoys our Labor Day fete and all the summer parties.

Labor Day celebrates all of those little people who labor not only for all of us but for all our neighbors and friends in the estate section. This is going to be an all-out shindig – fully catered, of course, as we give thanks to all of the loyal workers who make each summer here in Southampton so very, very special. Make sure to tell the staff to show up a half hour early to set up the lawn furniture. Muffy, Taffy, Kitten, Kay, Tiffany, Buffy, Bif, Stephie, Sassy, Freddi, Fifi, Mitten, Poofy, Piffy, and Syl will comprise the steering committee.

My goodness time does fly, I have a massage in 15 minutes, and I'm meeting Tish for tennis at 3:30 and I have to be at the club for cocktails by five. Ta ta for now!

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