Here at Everyday Elegance Collection, we understand the importance of pets, especially during the pandemic. As devoted pup-parents themselves, Alex and Lisa have always supported animal non-profits, and have served on the board of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons for more than a decade.
In 2011 the ARF Decorator and Designer Showcase made its debut at the organization’s Sagaponack Thrift and Treasure store, going on to become a defining event of the Hamptons Summer season. Every Memorial Weekend the store would be filled with stunning antiques and designer pieces from across the world of art and interior design, and with the support of the generous local community, raised crucial funds for ARF.
But in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, spelling disaster for non-profits across the world. For the first time in nine years, ARF was forced to cancel the event to keep its friends and supporters safe. It was a major blow, but we remained hopeful that we could return in 2021.
Fast forward 12 months, and despite our optimism, it became clear that an in-person event still posed too high a risk. Faced with the prospect of canceling the show for the second year in a row, Alex made the decision to harness the power of the internet and to move the event online.
With the help of Christie’s Auction House and a host of friends and fellow designers, he co-ordinated a full scale virtual auction to run for a fortnight at the start of the new season.
The response was unimaginable, and within weeks the auction had attracted hundreds of pieces of furniture, art, and decorative items, donated by longstanding friends and ARF adopters, including some of the most admired designers, artisans, and dealers in the country.
Speaking to Architectural Digest, Alex said: “So many people have storage warehouses with furniture, so what I encouraged them to do, and what we always do at ARF, is to go clean them out and bring them to us. I wanted there to be a range of things and styles—something for everyone.”
The online auction, chaired by Alex, Lisa McCarthy, and current ARF President Kathy Rayner, proved an incredible success, with donations far outstripping the ARF fundraising record set by last year’s design show.
Alex added: “ARF is an incredible charity, rescuing and nurturing the lives of animals from all over the country and parts of the world. There’s nothing nicer than pets. They’re good for our blood pressure, and their love is so unconditional.”
Of course, the quest for funds is ongoing. Following a year of unprecedented challenges, non-profits such as ARF need support more than ever. ARF continues to inspire us every day with their compassion, integrity, and dedication, and we encourage anyone who can lend a hand to do so by visiting their website.