Two Join Forces to Make It New

Carrie Karabelas-Yudelson and Joan Sullivan are the new party planners for the annual Montauk Playhouse Community Center’s gala event, which will be held Saturday under a tent on the Playhouse grounds. Janis Hewitt

    For several years Carrie Karabelas-Yudelson and Joan Sullivan, both summer residents, have attended the Montauk Playhouse Community Center’s annual benefit party at the Montauk Lake Club. It was a lovely event, they agreed, but it needed to be jazzed up a bit. So they volunteered to jointly lead the party and plan to wow the guests who attend on Saturday night at its new venue on the Playhouse grounds, where a tent will be set up on the north side of the property.
    “We thought we could bring a fresh face to it,” Ms. Sullivan said. “It makes sense to have it there right on the grounds. It’s far enough along to visualize what’s going to happen to bring it to completion. I think when you walk in there you feel the history of the place.”
    But the guests might not be walking in. With Dalton Portella and the Bastards of Boom leading the way, they will form a sort of conga line (presumably after cocktail hour) and follow the music on a guided tour through the finished section and the raw area, which is expected to be an aquatic center and theater if enough money is raised.
    Richard Kind, a Broadway and television actor who is a friend of a board member, will host the event and take part in honoring Joan Lycke for her service as president since the beginning of the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation, Kevin and Maureen Sullivan for supporting children’s philanthropy, and the Kalimnios family for hosting the Harbor Lights Gala, as it was called when it was held at the Montauk Lake Club, which they own.
    This year the event is called the Diamond in the Rough Benefit Gala. The plan, Ms. Sullivan said, is to keep the party local and include local bands, with Celtic Cross also performing, local foods, and mostly local raffle and auction prizes, although some will be off the beaten path, specifically the auction of a stay in a house near the Great Wall of China. It was voted one of the top 10 most beautiful homes in the world by an architectural magazine.
    Other prizes include a scenic flight over the East End, a parking spot near Ditch Plain Beach (in the driveway of a supporter’s house near the popular surfing spot), and dinner reservations at some of the top South Fork restaurants. A raffle will be held with prizes that include “a New York City experience,” his and hers Dutch bicycles, and an iPad 2. All of the prizes were donated, and Ms. Sullivan said merchants have been more than generous. “It’s really the community stepping up,” she said.
    The party will be held on Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. The food is being catered by RCano Events, which catered Chelsea Clinton’s wedding last year. The wines will be provided by Stonecrop Wines.
    Ms. Karabelas-Yudelson warned that the grounds are mostly earth and grass. “We have to get the word out that ladies can’t wear their 18-inch Jimmy Choos,” she said.
    “We’re calling this one night out in Montauk,” she said. “If you’re going to one event this summer, this is the one to be at.”
    The ticket prices are different this year, with general admission at $250 per person. Guests have the option to reserve tables, with the Diamond table costing $25,000, the Ruby table, $10,000, and the Sapphire, $5,000. Guests can also pay for premier, platinum, gold, or silver seating at $2,500, $1,000, $500, and $250.
    To buy raffle and admission tickets or to make reservations you can visit the Willow store on the South Plaza or go to If available, tickets will be sold at the door.
    “We need a major benefactor,” Ms. Sullivan said. “We need someone to step up to the plate. We need a million dollars.”