Thursday, 25 July 2013 15:21

RSVP: The Art of an Auto

By Trina Lucas | Entertainment

The Saratoga Automobile Museum celebrated “Cars as Art” at their annual gala on Friday, July 19. After a sweltering day at the races, close to 200 cooled off on the Hall of Springs breezeway with refreshing beverages from Cambria Estate Winery and Henkell. Gala chair Trish Ianniello and committee members Bob Bailey and Marie Dunning circulated to welcome the crowd, including renowned painter Frank Stella and motor-sports commentator Sam Posey. 

Under a special canopy, Select Sotheby’s International Realty, ‘The Connoisseurs of Life,’ hosted a cigar and scotch tasting to the lively music of Seth Warden and Doug Moody. Sotheby’s Joanne DiMarco and her daughter, Stefany McBrady, joined their colleague Andrea Demoracski. Sipping scotch nearby were Dan Russell and Jason Ward, while their wives, Ardie and Heather, chatted with local artist Beverley Mastrianni. 

Just up the stairs, Dr. Radka Dooley and Adrianne Apicella replenished their icy cocktails before heading inside to peruse the silent auction gallery. Frequent bid checks were necessary for several unique items, like the Pierce Arrow antique sign, a René Lalique glass radiator ornament, tickets for the 2014 U.S. Open Final Round and experiences at Land Rover, BMW and Skip Barber driving schools. 

Just past the auction display, the stone hall offered a delightful escape from the sun and heat. Spotted mingling inside were Norman and Micki Massry, Steve and Nicole Byrne, Luis and Jen Papon, Stephanie and Bryan Staff, Emily Berry, John Miller, Dr. Paul Spurgas and wife Deborah, Steve Bouchey, Charlie Montano and board chair Tony Ianniello. 

A seated dinner began at 8 p.m. as emcee John Gray, anchor for both News10 and Fox23, took the stage. The Mazzone Hospitality team served a delicious meal before a discussion of art and automobiles with special guests Stella and Posey. 

The program concluded with an exciting live auction. Featured packages were Lake Placid and Cabo San Lucas getaways, a private dinner for 12 from Maestro’s, passes for the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta, and an evening with retiring legend, Mariano Rivera. But the highlight was a week-long stay at the private Villa Emilia in Rocca d’Evandro, Italy. Providing accommodations for 12, the villa boasts a tennis court, pool, saunas, billiard room and horse stables. The package also included a four-course chef’s dinner and unlimited use of the wine cellar. All secured with a $14,000 winning bid, made by a very generous, anonymous donor.  

Thanks to the high auction bids and headline sponsorship from BMW North America and Keeler Motor Car Company, the gala net $40,000 at the end of the night. 

“The support from the community for the Saratoga Auto Museum’s Gala was so gratifying,” remarked Susan Carbonaro, Executive Director. “It means that our education programs and exhibits are appreciated and really puts our mission front and center.”   

“Cars as Art” also refers to the museum’s current exhibit of the BMW M1 Procar Racer painted by the late Andy Warhol. To learn more, visit

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