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Traditions Continue

Originally Posted: September 05, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer
Edward Callaghan

One hundred years to the day, the parishioners, clergy and friends of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary celebrated the dedication and opening of the historic church with a joyful Mass of thanks presided over by the Very Reverend Bishop Peter Libasci, Pastor Father Jeff Madley and Pastor Emeritus Msgr. Edmond Trench followed by the Annual Tent Party on the church lawn.

Mary Steinbrecher, Bishop Peter Libasci, and Father Jeff Madley at the 100th Anni-
versary to Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church. Photos by John Wegorzewski

Always one of the most festive affairs and a major event on the end-of-summer social calendars, the party is the church's most important fundraising event of the year and this year attracted over 650 guests from all around the country anxious to be a part of the historical evening, including Patricia and Edward Corrigan, Joan Heinz, Patricia Jordan, Peg Jordan, Michael Kent, Mary Steinbrecher, Jean and Charlie Mottern, Fred Weinfurt, to name a few.

The cocktail reception featured a bountiful buffet created by Tim Burke and his team at 75 Main. Three well-staffed bars kept the cocktails flowing. A highlight of the evening was a unique raffle recreating the very first raffle held at the church a century ago, The prizes were exactly the same as the gifts from that era - a $20 gold piece, a fanciful ladies hat, a French doll, a crock of flour, a child's china tea set, an ornamental clock, a ladies' gold watch, crystal rosary beads, a hand painted China plate, a pocket watch, and several other items gathered by parishioners. With the help of the staff of the Southampton Press, the committee was able to track down a story from a century ago chronicling the church's first fair and raffle and were able to replicate the prize list.

The popular East End group, Vivian and the Merrymakers kept the dance floor hopping with their unique Caribbean touch to everything from the standards to rock 'n roll. Folks who didn't hit the dance floor mingled and reunited with old friends and neighbors. The festive crowd included five generations of the Gilmartin Family, Pastor Emeritus Edmond Trench, Father Paul Dahm, Father Edward Kiernan, Father Steve Grozio, C.M., Sister Kathryn Schlueter, Sr. Mary Assunta Boyle, Jack Rist, William Hattrick, Gina and Lou Arresta, B.J. Steinbrecher and family, Southampton Councilwoman Nancy McGann, Rose Fuseiran, A.J. Danao, Tata Danao, Connie Cleofe, Gerald and MaryAnne Hanlon, Guy and Breege Squires, Ral and Mary Welker, Sister Emily Masse, John and Laura Wynne, Rachel Kelly, Jane Kellis, Peter and Jennifer Graelsch, Michelle and Chris Steudte, Jim and Kathleen McLauchlen, Christina Tadross, Lorraine Marano, Duke McCulley, Bob and Eileen Essay, Mrs. H.L. Rice escorted by her handsome grandson John Mangin, Marie and Stan Glinka, Randy and Candace Post, Peggy and Bill Bosson, Bob Murray, John and Ann Cuccia and hundreds more.

Well into the evening, the Big Bucks Drawing was held for prizes totaling $20,000. Charlie Mottern was justly congratulated for heading up the sale of 400 tickets at $100 a piece and then the drawing began. Minutes later there were 10 very happy winners. Bill Hattrick and Ed Wagner each took home $5,000; Betty Kent picked up $3,000; Patricia Ann Eme, $2,500; Ron Daly, John Childs and Father Larry Chadwick each snared $1,000 and Alesandro Ballestera, Louis and Parilla and Edward Corrigan went home $500 happier.

Proceeds from the fete will go to special programs generously supported by the parishioners and local community businesses. This year's sponsors for the event were Herbert & Rist Liquors, Topiaire Flowers, Peconic Beverages, Lynch's Garden Center, Berkoski Ice Company, P. J. McBride Tents, and Southampton Publick House.

Grand Prix winner Hillary Dobbs with Breanne Goutal and Kirsten Coe at the
closing day of the Hampton Classic.

Nothing is grander to wind up the summer than attending the Closing Day Competitions at the internationally acclaimed quintessential Hamptons event, the Hampton Classic Horse Show where the ladies don large fanciful hats and flirty summer dresses and the gents turn out in blazers and slacks. This is truly one of the most elegant days on the Hamptons calendar and indeed a most dazzling show of horsemanship and high fashion.

This year some 13,000 spectators filled the stands, VIP tent and the private Chalets - a sell-out for the first time ever - to watch the fabled Grand Prix. Dazzling is the word to use for Grand Prix winner Hillary Dobbs (daughter of Lou Dobbs of CNN fame) who has grown immensely since starting to compete on the grand prix circuit last year. On Friday, she topped the grand prix qualifier with Corlett, her German-bred mare, then turned around and did the same before our eyes on Sunday winning the $200,000 FTI Prize. The only other person in the history of the Classic who has won both the Friday and Sunday grand prix is Joe Fargis, who set the mark in 2005. Joe is an Olympic double-gold medalist. On top of that, the 20-year-old Hillary, a Harvard junior, became the youngest Grand Prix winner in the history of the Classic.

As guest of Melissa Cohn, at Manhattan Mortgage we not only had the best seat on the course but were treated to a simply marvelous champagne lunch in a beautiful blue and crème decorated pavilion with soft complimenting table linens and massive hydrangeas atop each elegantly appointed table. Catered by The Art of Eating under the watchful eye of top chef Cheryl Stair, the lunch included sliced grilled summer lamb, tomato pudding - a huge stack of alternating layers of peasant bread and the juiciest, sweetest Heirloom tomatoes on the East End, lemon laced al dente string beans, and absolutely decadent mini-cakes and brownies or fresh berries and melon for the weight conscious.

Over lunch, we chatted with Broadway powerhouses, Mr. Broadway himself, Stewart Lane and his producing partner and wife Bonnie Comley. They were positively thrilled that their young daughter Leah, despite her horse having been unwell, snared three ribbons in competition. They were also very excited about their new musical based on the life of the legendary songstress Lena Horne. Stewart gave us all the dish on the new production for which he hopes to land Alicia Keyes or Ashanti to play Lena in her early years. They'll first present the autobiographical musical, "Stormy Weather" on the West Coast. The musical is conceived and written by Sharleen Cooper Cohen and directed by Michael Bush. Its score borrows from the Great American Songbook, featuring such writers as Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hart, Billy Strayhorn and more. The show is based on the book, "Lena Horne Entertainer," published by Chelsea House.

Over in the VIP tent where Chris Robbins and his Robbins/ Wolfe Eventeurs were feeding the fashionable celebs, we spied Rudy Giuliani and his wife Judith Nathan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor, the gorgeous Beth Ostrosky sans fiancée (or maybe husband - nothing can be confirmed or denied about that one yet) Howard Stern, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Kelly Klein with her new son Lukas, Sale Johnson with Ahmad Rashad, Ivana Trump, Dan Gasby, Paige Bludhorn, Maria Tash, Peter Cook with girlfriend Suzanne Shaw, and Naomi Campbell who we spied covering her face with a program to avoid the photogs. Just your average day at the horse track!

The Elder Women enter the grounds to open the Shinnecock Powwow.

It would not be summer without at least one visit to the Shinnecock Nation's annual Powwow, a weekend long celebration of all that is good on the Earth and in the sea. For 63 years the Shinnecocks, who spend long months preparing for this major fest, have invited tribes from all across the country and Canada to participate in an end of summer ritual filled with pageantry and steeped in centuries of tradition.

We arrived just in time on the closing day to catch the Grand Entry in which all the Shinnecock leaders, elders and children, along with their visiting brethren from tribes everywhere, dressed in their colorful regalia proceeded onto the field with great stateliness to soft drumming. Flag bearers carrying the colors of the USA, the Shinnecock and Narragansett tribes, with trustees Fred Bess, Lance Gumbs, and Gordell Wright led the parade. Of course leading the Shinnecock women was the much loved Princess Chee-Chee a/k/a Elizabeth Thunderbird Haile, as she has done for some 50 plus years.

Following an invocation from Rev. Michael Smith, pastor of the Shinnecock Presbyterian Church, there was a powerful and emotional Veterans Dance performed to honor the fallen warriors and all who continue to fight to protect our land. The Silver Cloud Singers provided the vibrant singing accompanying the dance. Then following the blessing of the day and the food Princess Chee-Chee, as she has done for 62 years performed a Sacred Interpretation in a moving rendition of The Lord's Prayer. Her performance was enhanced with the recorded voice of her late nephew, a trained tenor, who sang the prayer in English. So that this tradition is never lost, Princess Chee-Chee has begun teaching it to the younger generations.

Throughout the festival grounds, members of the Shinnecock Nation served up Native American specialties for an extraordinarily diverse audience who had come from up and down the East Coast to participate in this tremendous celebration. For thousands of years, the Shinnecocks had been whalers and fishermen so of course the culinary offerings leaned heavily toward the products of the sea and inlets: clam pie, mussels, frogs legs, and turtle soup, items once thought of as the provenance of high French and Continental cuisine but Shinnecock in origin! We sampled a little bit of everything, including corn chowder, a favorite of locals whenever there is a Shinnecock celebration, fry bread with stewed apples and blueberry sluff, and washed it all down with some potent Thunderbird coffee.

All the while, we were treated to a fascinating dance program featuring a number of world class tribal dancers performing such dances as The Jingle Dance, The Fancy Shawl, and the Golden Age Eastern War Dance.

Congratulations to all of the hardworking Powwow committee for allowing us to share in this wonderful celebration including Becky Genia, Elizabeth Haile, Rachel Valdez, Denise Smith-Meacham, Angela Coard, Beverly Jensen, Judith Trotman, Karen Hunter, Susan Soto, Marguerite Smith, Josephine Smith, Shavonne Smith, Shelley Moore, Etta Snowden, Madeleine Rogers, Frances Coard, Michelle Johnson, Lynda M. Hunter, and Donna Eleazer. And a special nod to Beverly Jensen who put together a souvenir program rich in detail that chronicled the year on the reservation - births, graduations, marriages and deaths, as well as significant achievements by the Shinnecocks.


Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer


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