From the Pines with Love.
With the advent of the AIDS crisis owner John Whyte felt the need for a community response. With co chair Ron English, and using his sign off on his popular weekly column in Fire Island News “From the Pines with Love” was created.
Using the creative resources of the community they united all who then came together to make magic happen in the Pines. Benefitting AMF ( The Aids Medical Foundation) performers singer Peter Allen, comedienne Anne Meara, Broadway’s Dorothy Loudon, singer Ellen Foley and musical group Gotham were brought in as the entertainment. Peter Allen was no stranger to the Pines. He spent time in neighboring communities, and would be back in 1988 for the Hooray for Hollywood benefit at Gloria DeMann’s.
Pines hostess Gloria Demann and husband Larry opened their Bayfront home for the pre dinner soiree by importing the Big Apple Marching Band in full regalia to start the evenings official program. The band under the direction of Sam Ginbin made its surprising arrival up Teal Walk passing beneath billowing, glitter struck magenta banners to a stark white canopy covering the entrance, and onto the main hall to the outside decks. With the homes classic décor of fiberglass palm trees and stately camels keeping guard the scene was illuminated with special lighting of whirling mirrored spheres. At around eight a plane flew overhead with a banner proclaiming “From the Pines with Love AMF $ 190,000, turning out to be premature as the total climbed past that by the nights end.
After a glorious sunset the crowd marched with accompaniment from the band across the harbor to the Botel where a formal sit down dinner awaited. Catered by Bruce and Rosalie Morrell with entertainment produced by Bob Howard and Larry Solters. The Botel pool was transformed into a huge elegant white tented cabaret stage. Complete with white piano and pine trees. Emcee actress/ comedienne Anne Meara took the stage to lead the evening by introducing acts like singers Peter Allen, Ellen Foley, the group Gotham, and Broadway’s Dorothy Loudon. Anne Meara, Dorothy Loudon, and Ellen Foley below….
The reception and dinner party committee was directed by Gloria DeMann, Ed Lynch, Desmond Morgan, Bruce & Rosalie Morrell, and John Whyte. Singer Peter Allen opened and closed the show.
Musical group Gotham was also featured.
Gloria & Larry DeMann.
Dr. Mathilde Krim , chairperson and co-founder of the Aids Medical Foundation, and prominent research scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering center in New York, emphasized her professional sensitivity, clinical findings, unswavering commitment to the crisis. The event made over $200,000 for AMF. This was the beginning of a community response to Aids in the Pines community that would continue…
See Peter Allen in his prime here at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes: