Raynham Hall Museum’s annual Valentine’s ball brought together 225 revelers at The Muttontown Club on February 8 for an evening of extravagant tablescapes individually created by twenty renowned designers, as well as gambling, dancing, fine dining, and auctions. The party is the museum’s main fundraiser, providing necessary operating support for Oyster Bay’s historic house museum, once the home of George Washington’s Culper Spy, Robert Townsend.

The honorees this year were former state Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblyman Charles Lavine, both of whom have been instrumental in directing much needed funding for Raynham Hall’s new Education Annex, set to open in the fall of 2020. The principal supporter of the capital campaign transforming the 1915 building into the Education Annex is the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

Among the over-the-top tablescape designers were Randy Statham of Scarsella’s Flowers, who created a jaw-dropping table in a gazebo with a Greek statue centerpiece entwined in flowered boughs, and Dean Yoder Interiors, whose table featured a red-tulip-festooned centerpiece topped Marie-Antoinette-style with an 18th-century ship’s model, as a nod to the Museum’s past as the home of the merchant-ship-owning Townsends. Other amazing tables were designed by Andrew Maier Interior Design, Andrew Pascoe Flowers, Vivian Cimmino of Beautiful Flowers, Eric Lysdahl Inc., Rebecca Finelli, Greg Lanza Design, Rebecca Lawton Flatters, Barbara Lewis of The Lewis Design Group, Kyle Marshall, Nicole Troncone in coordination with Elite Party Rentals, Peter LoPippero of Peter Charles Designs, Ltd., Gina Maisano of Silver Creek Antique & Estate, Susan Bloom Interiors, Greg Knudsen for Timothy Macdonald Inc., and Cathy Barry and Jean Daly of Valley Attic in Locust Valley.

At the grand piano, generously underwritten by the Piano Exchange in Glen Cove, pianist extraordinaire John Schwartzberg conjured up love songs and other romantic music to set the tone of the party during dinner. Auctioneer Michael Taglich had people on the edge of their chairs as he auctioned off nine separate items, raising a total of nearly $40,000. After dinner, partygoers adjourned from the ballroom to the club’s historic dining room, where DJ Rob H from Famous Entertainment played raucous dance music. Throughout the evening, gamblers tried their hand at games of chance in the barroom. Little jars of honey from La Selva in Mill Neck were distributed to departing guests as party favors, courtesy of Claudio and Debra Del Vecchio.

Co-chairs of the event were Dean Yoder and Jonathan Grimm, Franki and Nish Doshi, and Claudia and Michael Taglich, and our Junior co-chairs Jamie and Frantz Arty and Kyle Marshall and Matt Smoak.”

  • Thu

    6:00 – 8:00 pmRaynham Hall Museum

    Come kick off the Christmas season with a reception for Raynham Hall Museum’s New Exhibition,
    For Friends and Family, the Folk Art Creations of Three Generations of the Family Of Cora Michalis
    Opening reception with music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres Thursday, December 4, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m.
    $25 per person
    Reservations required. Please call 516-922-6808.

    About the exhibit:

    The artworks that form this exhibition were created by Estella Shepherd Bush, her daughter Cora Michalis, and granddaughter Helen Bonebrake.

    Estella Shepherd Bush was a self-taught artist who grew up in Argentina and then moved to Santiago, Chile, where she raised her family, channeling her artistic talents into the domestic arts, including the creation of elaborate and fantastical Christmas artworks for her friends and family. Her daughter Cora graduated from Parsons School of Design before starting her own family, catching the Christmas baton from her mother, putting her own perfectionist twirl on it and passing it to her daughters, Helen Bonebrake and Cora Thomas. They, having mastered and reveled in the family craft, are proud in turn to witness its further flourishing in the works of Estella’s great-granddaughters, Cora C. Thomas and Mia Harlock.


  • Sat

    1:00 – 5:00 pmRaynham Hall Museum

    This event is free to the public.
    Raynham Hall Museum on West Main Street in Oyster Bay will be holding an open house on December 6 beginning at 1 p.m., featuring two visits from Ebenezer Scrooge, an exhibition of folk-art miniature Christmas trees, an exhibition of toy soldiers, and Victorian caroling.

    The exhibit consists of more than thirty miniature trees meticulously festooned with family keepsakes, created by the late Estella Shepherd Bush, her daughter Cora Michalis, and granddaughter Helen Bonebrake, and will run through Twelfth Night, on January 5. (The opening reception for that exhibition will take place Thursday, December 4, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and is $25 per person). Also on exhibit will be miniature Revolutionary and British soldiers, prepared for battle, created by artist Michael Goudket.

    Ebenezer Scrooge generously has planned two visits on December 6th, the first at 1 p.m. and the second at 2:30, at which he will re-tell the classic by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, edited for brevity and as a first-person narrative. Children will add to the fun by participating in the storytelling with sound effects and shouting, “Bah, humbug!” As an intermission, at 2 p.m., Victorian carolers will drop by and cookies and cider will be offered.

    Visitors will be free to tour the museum and enjoy the holiday spirit of the past, in the present!