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Gov. Paterson comes to Southampton Hospital benefit

SH Hospital Pres and CEO Bob Chaloner, Governor

SH Hospital Pres and CEO Bob Chaloner, Governor David Patterson and wife Michelle, Hospital Gala Chair Jean Shafiroff (August 2010) Credit: Blanche Williamson

Gov. David Paterson and wife, Michelle, showed up Saturday for the Southampton Hospital’s 52nd Annual SummerParty, an Enchanted Evening. No wonder. The hospital is the backbone of the Hamptons and the gala is the culmination of the social season. About 1,000 thers showed up as well.

“He was so charming, warm and kind to everyone,” said Jean Shafiroff (seen here with the Patersons and Southampton Hospital's Bob Chaloner), who as a first-time gala chairwoman broke all fund-raising records. “He wanted to hear about the hospital and asked me about the people I worked with ... Everyone wants to make the hospital the best it can be.

“He took photos with all the teenagers, and with my daughter Elizabeth. The hospital was so happy to have him."

With the governor was social presence Debby Bancroft – and lots of security.

The big news this year: Hedgefund operator John Paulson and wife, Jenny, donated $5 million to create The Jenny and John Paulson Emergency Department.

Hospital President and chief executive Bob Chaloner was offering tours of the 24/7 state-of-the-art facility. Better to see it this way, he told the benefit crowd.

“Most people feel, as I do, that the hospital is the most critical entity in our community,” Shafiroff told Newsday. “It’s hard to think about going on vacation to a resort community where, if something happened, you couldn’t be treated. Our emergency room has as much traffic in the summer as Bellevue, coming from as far east as Montauk. People fall, guests cut themselves, children have accidents, older people need help. After the summer, people leave. It’s important that the year-round residents have it, many of whom -- firemen, policemen, teachers -- service the community in a wonderful way. So many, many people want to step up and support the hospital in some way.”

Shafiroff said she wants you to know there are many ways to contribute. “It’s not just about writing a check,” she said. “If you want to be included, you can volunteer to stuff goody bags. Roll up your sleeves, no matter what, we invite you to participate.” And to have fun.

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