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Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center Celebrates 20th Anniversary While Looking Toward The Future Of Childcare

Nicole Barylski

Amy Stengel, honoree Maureen Wikane, and Christian John Wikane. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

Set on the picturesque Kilmore Farm in Wainscott, the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center (EWECC) toasted to the Center's 20th anniversary on Saturday, June 3 during EWECC's 2nd annual Barn Dance at Kilmore Farm.

"I'm delighted to be here on this exquisite evening, with thanks to Mary Ann and Dave for opening up the big doors [of the Kilmore Farm barn] to celebrate our 20th anniversary," shared honoree Maureen Wikane, who has served as Director of the Center since its inception.

Upon entering the bucolic farm grounds, partygoers reveled in the beautiful weather as they mingled outside. Once inside the Eagan/McCaffrey family's spectacular barn, which was accentuated with flowers from C. Whitmore Gardens and lighting by Matt Murphy Event Lighting, attendees were greeted by music from the Roadhouse Band, wine provided by Amagansett Wine & Spirits, Montauk Brewing Co. beer, and southern cuisine from the Art of Eating. Since the event had a bit of a southern flair, EWECC brought in a few special guests who led a line dance lesson, which had the dance floor packed.

Eleanor Whitmore and Ruth Ann McSpadden, Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center Board Chair. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)


"I'm very happy and we're increasing all the time, our mission of helping women that have to go to work," Eleanor Whitmore, who the Center is named after, told Hamptons.com. "Our goal for the future is to keep going and expanding. We have a waiting list now and we're very anxious about accommodating all the children that apply." EWECC welcomes over 100 children year round, for up to 10 hours a day.

"Part of our other mission that we've been working on is to expand the information for families, so we've branched into bilingual parent education," added Ruth Ann McSpadden, Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center Board Chair. "So that's one of our current projects." EWECC has also recently added a Healthy Harvest gardening program, in conjunction with Share the Harvest Farm, where pre-kindergarten classes can learn how to grow their own vegetables in raised-bed planters.

Mariah Whitmore with Kilmore Farm owners David Eagan and McCaffrey. (Courtesy Photo)


For Mariah Whitmore, the granddaughter of Eleanor Whitmore, who spearheaded the Barn Dance committee, it was a bittersweet moment to see the East End community come together to celebrate the Center's milestone anniversary. "We're thrilled with the turnout. We're so happy so many people came out to support the Center and all the good things we're doing," Mariah added. "We have a really wonderful community out here and they're really showing up for us tonight. So we thank everybody."

Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center offers creative and engaging activities for children from 18 months through five-years-old, year round. Over the last 20 years, EWECC has helped nurture over 4,000 East Hampton students.

For more information about Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, visit ewecc.org.


Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski


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