Tonight, Bailey House will celebrate its Annual Gala & Auction at Pier 60, in support of the charity’s work in helping those with or at risk of HIV/AIDS. Top designers Jon Call, Anne Maxwell Foster, Suysel dePedro Cunningham, Drew McGukin and Ron Marvin chatted with EAL about what this year’s event has in store, including the new-this-year program Design for Living, which will auction off the services of 20 designers during the event.
How did you first get involved with Bailey House? What’s your role this year?
Drew McGukin: I was approached by designer friends and immediately felt connected to the cause and honored to join the designers offering consultations.
Ron Marvin: I was asked by Tilton Fenwick to participate. I said a resounding “YES!” right away!
Jon Call: This is my first year working with Bailey House, and I am proud to come on board as the vice design chair alongside Tilton Fenwick in support of the event. For many years, I have known about Bailey House and the incredible work they do. To join the ranks of this incredible team to help assemble this event has been an honor, and I look forward to participating in the future.
Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham, of Tilton Fenwick: Alexa Hampton was kind enough to suggest that we get involved this year, and we are so thankful. We are vice chairs for this year’s Design for Living auction, along with Jon Call.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s gala? Do you have your eye on any of the auction items?
Drew McGukin: Unfortunately, I’ll be traveling on business during the actual gala, but I’m thrilled to be included, and have enjoyed the process of putting together a great package for the event. I have to be honest, that Brizo Articulating Faucet and brand-new ETCHINGS series countertop slab offered in my bid are pretty darn appealing to me!
Ron Marvin: This will be my first year attending. I’m thrilled and excited to experience the entire thing!
Jon Call: Personally, one of the highlights of this year’s event is the inaugural launch of the Design for Living event at the gala. We have 20 incredible designers that are contributing two-hour design sessions to be auctioned off the night of the event. Shawn Henderson, a friend and mentor, is participating. You will probably see me be the first in line to bid on his sophisticated design eye.
Tilton Fenwick: An artist we have previously commissioned, Kai Samuels-Davis, has generously donated one of his amazing paintings to the auction this year. We are thrilled to be able to expose his work to this year’s attendees.
What do you feel the design community’s role is in initiatives like BH?
Drew McGukin: BH is a perfect opportunity for designers and design vendors to apply our talents and genuine “love of the game” toward something that reaches a broader and more candid audience. Great design—in its core—is about collaboration and sharing. I’d say this pretty much sums up the BH mission as well!
Ron Marvin: When we have the opportunity as designers to give back, to use our talents, and to help better the lives of others in need, we need to step up to the plate and give selflessly.
Jon Call: Design has always been the first in line to support HIV/AIDS-related charities. It’s a cause our community is passionate about, and have the ability to support. This year marks a long history of interior designers supporting the Bailey House—and in many ways, the torch has been passed to a new generation. The committee has grown to include many new voices—all motivated by their own unique reasons to champion the cause. The Bailey House is a charity whose work we can all admire and support, and as designers, it’s our job to band together and raise awareness and money for this very special charity.
Tilton Fenwick: Suysel’s father died of AIDS in 1996, so this is a cause close to our hearts. Donating two hours of our time pales in comparison to the work Bailey House does 24/7 to help people living with HIV/AIDS.