Last night I headed over to the annual “School’s Out” benefit for the Hetrick-Martin Institute on Further Lane in East Hampton at the home of Peter Wilson and Scott Sanders. HMI is one of those programs that is unique, but the second you hear about what they do, you realize how important they are.
The Hetrick-Martin Institute is a place that creates a supportive and caring environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth between the ages of 12 and 24 and their families. It’s a program that is much needed for young people who are going through one of the most difficult times in their life, and it offers them a place of understanding, welcomeness and belonging in a world where there are few resources who really understand what they are going through.
The party was held on Further Lane under a large white tent at the absolutely stunning home of the hosts, and was filled with volunteers who are remarkably passionate about the program. “It’s just one of those things that really makes an impact on young people’s lives. For these kids to be able to have a place where they can seek advice and support from people who understand them is huge,” said one volunteer.
HMI has so many supporters that at one point, it seemed like it was difficult for the organizers of the event to keep track of them all. “It’s an absolutely wonderful problem to have. It’s great to have so many people realize the valuable services that HMI does for so many kids,”Chandler Bazemore, the Associate Director of Development for HMI, said.
And you could see their supporters in action last night, with Mini-Cooper, a big supporter of HMI, providing shuttle service to and from the party using a fleet of their cars with professional drivers picking up guests and driving them to the estate from the parking lot at Two Mile Hollow Beach in East Hampton.
The Hetrick-Martin Institute is a year-round operation and provides its youth members (whether they are enrolled in school or not) a wide range of group activities designed to develop social and interpersonal skills and build confidence. Last year our After-School Department reached more than 2,000 LGBTQ youth and their families.
At the party last night, it was clear that HMI not only is impacting families and kids in a big way, but also has an impact emotionally on those who support the program who perhaps wish they had such a program while they were growing up and are so thankful that they can provide a program of this nature to the next generation.
You can learn more about HMI by clicking here.