Mini blaze gets doused with champagne at Art Production Fund gala

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The Art Production Fund’s annual gala was lit… literally.

A spy at the Pool restaurant’s swanky fête tells us that one votive candle got too close to one of the mini Saks gift bags during dinner – and when the bag ignited, the tablecloth also caught fire.

The source tells us that at Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet’s table, her guest Eboni K. Williams of “The Real Housewives of New York” was the first to react.

“Eboni looked like she smelled something burning and pushed her chair back from the table thinking it was her hair,” a spy at a nearby table tells us. “Her chair fell over and splintered into five pieces.”

Luckily, the mini crisis was averted when Bendet and “Bachelorette” alum Tayshia Adams acted quickly and “started pouring every glass of champagne and water on it.”

“People rushed over with more water and then they cleared everything off the table,” one spy shares.

We assume the contents of the bag – a $100 gift certificate – were left in tact, if not a bit soaked with bubbly. We’re also told the mishap didn’t put a damper on the evening.

“Minutes later everyone was laughing about it,” says the source.

The theme of the evening was “APF reunion,” since the last Art Production Fund gala went down right before the pandemic hit in 2020.

Guests found cool black-and-white varsity jackets at their seats with each guests’ name embroidered on the front, and the night’s program looked like a classic composition notebook, but in pink.

Past honoree Sarah Hoover oversaw the event’s menu, and performers from Cheer New York greeted guests with glittering pompoms as they entered the Pool from a cocktail hour next door at the Grill. The crowd also was asked to stand for a performance art interpretation of the National Anthem by Moon Medicin.

The night raised $700,000, and an art auction included lots by artists Derrick Adams, LaKela Brown, Jeff Koons and Hiba Schahbaz.

Also spotted at the event – where the dress code was “tight knit” – were APF founders Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal, “And Just Like That” star Nicole Ari Parker, Fab 5 Freddy, chef Marcus Samuelsson, Fort Gansevoort founders Adam Shopkorn and Carolyn Tate Angel, designer Maxwell Osborne and many more.

APF executive director Casey Fremont and director of operations Kathleen
Lynch presided over the fun.

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