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Have A Heart Offers A Little Something For Everyone

Originally Posted: June 01, 2009

Edward Callaghan

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An attentive crowd eagerly awaits the live auction to benefit the Have A Heart organization programs for children. Photos by John Wegorzewski

Southampton - The creative and energetic forces behind the two pronged benefit for Have A Heart this Saturday, May 30, came up with an ingenious plan to allow everyone to participate at whatever level they could by offering two wonderful opportunities for the community to support Have A Heart's upcoming programs for children.

Lois Beekman-Oliveria gets ready for th next wave.

The Have A Heart Community Trust is dedicated to assisting individuals and families achieve sustainable independence. They do this by partnering with select local charities, community based initiatives and social service programs to provide the financial resources for shelter, food, medical services and supplies as well as direct emergency relief to our East End neighbors. For this event, they partnered with "Darkness to Light," a national non-profit designed to diminish the incidence and impact of child sexual abuse.

Lois Beekman-Oliveria, a Stewards of Children trainer with "Darkness to Light" offered her majestic hillside home, Long Springs Lodge, for an early morning White Elephant Sale which allowed members of the community to consign antiques and collectibles, and the sale price would be split between the donor and Have A Heart, who will put the funds toward the McGruff Crime Prevention Award-winning Stewards of Children training on the South Fork. An on-going initiative, the next training session will be held in Southampton in June.

Under sunny skies, Oliviera and a team of volunteers filled the enormous veranda and the lawns surrounding the house with an unusual array of art, antiques and those simply "gotta-have-it" collectibles. Art dealer Peter Colasante, who owns the Enfant Modern Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. and another outlet in San Juan, had driven up in the wee hours of the morning to help his client and friend of many years stage the sale properly.

Frank LaBabera, Debra McKay, Susan Corwith, Charles Corwith with Trustee of Have A Heart organization.


Tables on the sweeping veranda were laden with numerous one-of-a-kind items, including art deco lacquer boxes, fine crystal, antique linens, Depression glass, fanciful table decorations and stacks and stacks of fine prints and paintings. All around the spacious lawns were sets of outdoor furniture, carpets and garden decorations.

Director Barry Brown and author Bob Zellner.

Have A Heart's Carolyn Chichester pointed out the intricate handwork in an antique tablecloth to Southampton's Gina Michael and explained its family history. There was much interest in several green Depression glass juicers that one knowledgeable collector relayed the origins of "back in the 1930s they were packed inside boxes of detergent as a giveaway." But whether it was glassware or garden ornaments business was brisk. Linda Miller-Zellner also helping out was joined by her husband author Bob Zellner and a group of friends, including artist Steve Romm, Valerie Schroeder, Joseph Obermayer, Nicolas Rutherford, Joe Bush and Scott De Marco.

Throughout the morning, dozens of cars and vans left filled with treasures at bargain prices and the new owners of these items were filled with pleasure at having helped an important local organization whether they spent $5 or $500. This was exactly what Oliviera had in mind, "When you do something like this everyone can participate. In these days with the tight economy people still want to help in whatever way they can, we think we found a great way to help them do just that."

While Oliviera was saying good-bye to the last customers a team of volunteers headed up by what she terms "the new young blood with fresh ideas," Bill Wright and Bret Pawhul who have taken over as president and vice president of Have A Heart. Last summer, working with Have A Heart founder Rose Dios, the pair set out to do something different besides a simple cocktail. Both are local guys, and grew up playing sports on the beach. Their idea to organize a three-day volleyball tournament on Coopers Beach with teams from a host of local businesses netted over $13,000. The proceeds from the Volleyball Bash, a round-robin tournament provided back to school supplies for local underprivileged children.

Laura Mastandrea, Laura Thimm, Ellen Ashenfarb, and Whitney Bleam.


For "Pennies From Heaven" their early evening dance party at Oliviera's home, the pair and their pals worked hard to obtain donations and eventually had everything underwritten allowing them to charge a mere $35 for cocktails, buffet dinner courtesy of Thyme & Again, dessert and dancing to the very hot reggae band Inner Roots.

Wright is very cognizant of how the state of the economy has affected his neighbors with more people in need in Southampton Town than ever before and it is hard for people to give as generously as they would like, stating "The days of the large fund-raiser are kind of over." He and Pawhul were very proud that they created an affordable event that made it possible for so many to attend.

Elaine Stone, Monica Reiner, and Laura Lehmuller.

Before dinner, art dealer Peter Colasante took to the pool area to conduct an auction of fine art and antiques. There was some spirited bidding for a number of items, including a one of a kind caricature by the fabled theater artist Al Hirschfield of "The Great Schnozzola" - Jimmy Durante that Frank Montgomery scooped up for a bargain $650 - Hirschfield's go for $5,000 and up!

Heather Fyfe, a Trustee of Have A Heart, echoed the feeling of many of the guests," I love that this event is just for the East End community. People don't realize that there are a lot of families with children in need. Events like this help us help them directly."

In his brief remarks, Wright touched on the need for the community to rally round - especially in hard times - and profusely thanked the sponsors, "We couldn't have done this fabulous evening with wine, dinner and the hot reggae band, Inner Roots, without the extremely generous support from our major sponsors Delaney Oser of Wildthyme and Thyme & Again, Bridgehampton National Bank, Lamplighter Wines & Liquors, Suffolk County National Bank, Celia and Larry Kuznick, Steve Romm, Greg Gordon and so many more caring folks."

Guests quickly got into the reggae groove and there was even a conga line led by Bob Zellner that snaked through the property for some 15 minutes. For those who were foot weary, massage therapist Gina Michael had a table set up for quick fix massages! All in all, it was one wonderful evening with a very fun and caring group of our neighbors.

The White Elephant sale offered numerous treasures.




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Guest (SH Local) from Southampton says::
What a great event! We had the best time! special thanks to Bill Wright, Brett Pahwul and Lois Oliveira! Also found out that Bill Wright is Running for town Board, He's got my vote!
Jun 3, 2009 2:11 pm

Guest (Chuck Caputo) from Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection says::
As the Executive Director of a non-profit organization who's mission is to eliminate child abuse/neglect and maltreatment through research, advocacy, professional and community education, I am so delighted to see these efforts, spearheaded by Ms. Beekman-Oliveria, to keep the issue of protecting children on our collective radar. As the economy tanks, we know statistically that child neglect goes up...it is efforts like these that helps protect those who often can not speak up for themselves--thanks to all who participated!
Jun 2, 2009 9:01 pm

Guest (lois Oliveira) from Southampton says::
I would like to compliment Bill Wright, President of Have A Heart and Bret Pahwul, Vice President for their dedication to the Hamptons and their willingness to help protect children from sexual abuse and support those children in need all over the East End. I helped with thisevent because I was so impressed with the Beach Volley Ball Tournament they created last summer and will support the second Tourmament at Cooper's Beach on August 18th
Jun 2, 2009 4:33 pm

 

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