Jamie Berger

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Jamie Berger, of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF), spoke about the organization’s upcoming designer show house and some of the other ways community members can get involved. Photo by Sole Riley.

By Mara Certic

What does Saturday’s designer show house entail?

Not only are we an adoption center in Wainscott, we also have a thrift shop in Sagaponack, which helps to fund what we do here. I believe it’s 15 to 19 percent of our operating budget that actually comes from revenue at the thrift shop, so it’s absolutely instrumental in what we do. This is now the fifth year of the designer show house. Obviously we weren’t the first to do a decorator show house, but it’s got a little bit of a twist to it because the designers volunteer their time and they use items that they’ve found at the thrift shop, or items they’re personally supplying. It really came from the idea of taking the thrift shop stuff, and incorporating that, or an item that inspired you to create a themed room.

How many decorators are involved in this year’s show house?

There are six designers, and they each get a little room—we call them vignettes—and they’re invited to come to the thrift shop over the winter, take a look at what we have and from there they stop by on occasion, see if there’s anything new that inspires them to create their new space. The designers just got into the thrift shop this week to start setting up their spaces for Saturday night.

So is each vignette like a separate room of a house? 

Exactly—it’s whatever inspires the designer. So Mark Shriver was inspired by a four-poster bed with carved birds that he found at the thrift shop. So he has decided to create “Tippi’s bedroom,” in honor of Tippi Hedren. It’s something that moves them. One of the other designers, Kevin Heart, was given a space that has dog wallpaper on it. So he went with that theme, and he’s calling his room the Dog Portrait sitting room. And everything the designers put in there will be on sale, so not only do you get to experience these great designers and their creativity, you can actually own a piece of the room, or the whole room if you wanted. And of course, it all benefits ARF.

How long will all of the little vignettes be on show?

So Saturday night is the cocktail party. We have two different ticket levels: 5 p.m. is the higher end ticket, which gets you in before anyone else. If you’re really interested in purchasing, I’d suggest coming then. And then general admission will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Sunday, it will be open for the general public, and we’ll ask for a suggested donation of $10. We hope that we sell out of everything on Saturday night, but if we don’t then everything’s still for sale, and the sale will continue into Sunday.

What will this money be used for?

It really goes to our day-to-day operations, what we do here at the adoption center, whether it’s food, just paying our overhead or specific rescues, where we do travel to other areas.

How else can community members pitch in?

We do really rely on our vast number of volunteers for a lot of the programs we have. We have people who come by and walk dogs, people can volunteer at different events that we have. We also have a project called Operation Cat that helps manage the local cat populations here. It’s a trap, neuter and release program, and it’s totally based on volunteers.

The other day I saw an ARF van at an event. What is that used for?

Oh you saw our mobile van… Not only does that help in our transport, so that the animals are much more comfortable, but it’s been key for getting our animals adopted. Our mobile van is out every weekend. There are a lot of people who don’t want to come to shelters and we just thought if you’re not willing to come here, we’ll bring the animals to you. I think it’s about 40 percent of our adoptions that come off the van now. It’s really helped us get our animals adopted.

For more information visit arfhamptons.com

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