- A fanciful and endearing decor greeted guests as all the framed pictures hanging on the walls in the three rooms of The Palm Restaurant showcased artwork created by children from The East Hampton Day Care and Learning Center, carefully taped over the images. There were snowmen cutouts and other decorations adorning the raffle tables where attendees eagerly and generously bid on a number of items.
The cause for celebration was the Center's annual holiday party at The Palm Restaurant at the Hunting Inn in East Hampton on Sunday, Dec. 14. Given the enormous turnout at this annual event, the generosity and commitment of community members, as well as the faculty and staff of the center, was pleasantly displayed in the enthusiasm and camaraderie of well wishers on hand for the holiday season.
Board Member Alec Baldwin appeals to attendees to continue their support of The
East Hampton Day Care and Learning Center.
The Center, the only state licensed day care center in East Hampton, was founded in 1976 to "Provide high-quality educational and recreational programs that promote the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children during a critical time in their development." The not-for-profit organization provides full-day, year-round child care for the working families in East Hampton, Wainscott, Sagaponack, Amagansett, and Springs. Maureen Wikane is the current Executive Director.
Amy Turner, a board member, commented that "The Board is very pleased that there is a center in our community that allows working families to work, especially in these difficult times. We have an affordable and safe environment for day care for children, offering services for toddlers (18 months to two years of age); three-year-olds; Pre-Kindergarten and four-year-old programs." Turner further elaborated that "I think there are over 150 children currently enrolled at the center."
Board member Alec Baldwin made a short speech both welcoming everyone in attendance and quipping that given the difficult economic times the fare of "Caviar, champagne and chocolate fountains from years past has been replaced with cheese platters and crackers." The grand raffle of a 'smart car' was also announced and won by playwright, Marsha Norman
On a serious note the community-conscious activist and actor implored all to remember the Day Care Center "When you sit down to write out your charitable checks at the end of the year don't forgot this worthy and long-standing local organization that provides quality and affordable day care services to working families in this community."
Tony Romano and Linda Calder have been running events at The Palm for 28 years, and it shows. The food was sumptuous and abundant, including calamari, baked ham, sliced filet mignon, various cheese offerings, chicken parmigiana and other culinary delights. Finesse and maneuvering were required to actually get at the laden table, being situated in the center of the first room by the fireplace, the sheer number of hungry attendees actually hovered as the exquisite cuisine The Palm is known for was brought forth. Coupled with the delightful wines offered by an attendant bartender and the speed with which the wait staff replenished every dish, a sated and satisfied throng gathered to hear the melodious offerings of the Young Musicians String Quartet introduced by Baldwin who humorously suggested that the young men had "Just made up the name of their group a few minutes prior to performing."
This group of four talented young men comprised of Timothy Megna, Max Panish, Leo Panish and Christopher Beroes-Haigis, who were all handsomely attired in tuxedos, impressed the crowd with their skill and musicianship and played beautifully under the watchful eye of their coach, Steve Watson.
Everyone departed The Palm Restaurant at the Huntting Inn in East Hampton on Sunday after a thoroughly pleasant evening celebrating The East Hampton Day Care and Learning Center's annual holiday party.
Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.