On the evening of February 23, the colossal Lexington Avenue Armory was aglow, playing host to the hottest winter benefit, the Bailey House annual charity Auction and Party. Usual host duo of ten years, Tim Gunn and Simon Doonan, passed the baton over to renowned fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo and “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd as the evening’s star commères.
New York trendsetters, red-carpet glitterati, and a swarm of affluent, philanthropic good-doers opened hearts and wallets for the auction’s prime picks. My chances at waving my paddle, an electronic hand-held doodad, for a date with Bravo’s own Andy Cohen, a Costa Rica getaway, or a Herb Ritts original, zapped out mighty quickly, as thousands of dollars bounced back and forth as if auction bidders were playing a casual round of poker, with nearly $400,000 raised. My win was a sleek pair of Marc Jacobs sunglasses. I may not roll with the big dogs, but I sure can accessorize like one!
For the past twenty-eight years, Bailey House has provided housing and support services to homeless men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. Addressing vital needs such as food, shelter and safety, Bailey House helps its clients to develop a sense of stability, free from most of the pressures of being homeless, to focus on individual healthcare, job training, and support services.
As for the glitterati, Kathy Griffin, Robert Verdi, Jane Pauley, and “Real Housewives of New York City Countess LuAnn de Lesseps mingled amid a sea of party-goers, but as much as I adore star-searching, I was mostly dazzled by the décor. Tiffany’s holiday interior expert Geoff Howell lassoed the expansive space, twisting it into a Busby Berkeley backdrop of deco-styled skyline, with sharp lighting for a modern take on a very old New York.
To learn more or volunteer your time to about Bailey House check out www.baileyhouse.org.