On Tuesday evening, the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) hosted their annual “CMEE In the City” fundraising dinner at Apella in New York City. Hosted by comedian and former cohost of ABC’s The View, Joy Behar, the evening honored former CMEE Board Officers Beatrice Alda, Natalie Barth and Victoria Graham for their “instrumental roles in the museum’s growth and success.”
This year’s dinner welcomed a record 180 guests, and raised more than $200,000 for the museum’s annual operations. The menu, prepared by Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark, included buffalo milk burrata with heirloom squash and pomegranate, with either roasted branzino or beef sirloin entree, followed by espresso-chocolate mousse cake for dessert.
The intimate dinner featured a live auction run by Christie’s auctioneer Caroline Ervin, with a Caribbean Escape to the Dominican Republic fetching the top bid of the night at $6,500.
During the cocktail hour, mentalist Ken Salaz mingled with the crowd, and wowed guests with tricks ranging from mindreading to pickpocketing—he even removed a gentleman’s watch twice without his noticing.
Guests in attendance included Arlene and Alan Alda who were on hand to support their daughter Beatrice, a founding mother of the museum, and one of the evening’s three honorees. Behar (a close friend and the evening’s host) and her husband Steve Janowitz joined the Aldas at their table. Other guests included: Amy Tarr, President of the CMEE Board of Trustees, and Stephen Long, CMEE’s Executive Director.
Long addressed the museum’s important role in the community during his speech noting, “For so many families marginalized on the East End, CMEE provides assistance to children with special needs, English classes to recent immigrants and a Head Start preschool for dozens of low income families.”
CMEE also recently announced a $2 million capital campaign that will support the addition of several new interactive exhibitions, allow them to expand their pre-existing community programs, in order to serve more children and families, and establish an endowment to ensure a sustainable future for the museum. The first new exhibition will be unveiled in time for summer 2014.
The Children’s Museum of the East End is located at 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton. It is one of the most visited museums on Long Island, welcoming over 60,000 guests annually. Call 631-537-8250 or visit cmee.org to find out more.