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Autumn Festivals Begin

Originally Posted: September 26, 2007

Nicole B. Brewer

The bright sunshine and warm breezes made it feel otherwise but this weekend officially kicked off fall - one of the East End's loveliest seasons. With the leaves just beginning to turn the brilliant hues of autumn, harvest festivals are also a staple on all the calendars up and down both forks on the East End. This weekend saw the first of many.

Event Chair Jamison White-Wilson and committee member Elizabeth Skinner at the
Southampton Historical Museum annual Harvest Day. Photos by John Wegorzewski

The Southampton Historical Museum hosted its annual Harvest Day: Southampton's Folk Art and Farm Day on the grounds of the Rogers Museum with enough activities and displays to engage and entertain children - and adults - of all ages. Wool spinners, candle stick makers, carpenters, blacksmiths and ice cream makers demonstrated long forgotten crafts in the authentic out buildings of the tiny pre-Colonial village on the Museum's property.

Scores of volunteers pitched in to make this a delightful family outing. John Battle swung his mighty mallet to forge a lamp bracket while his young daughter Millie pumped the bellows that was taller than she. Southampton High Scholl students Connor O'Shea, Jamie Duryea, and Chris Raia instructed the little ones in the art of wrapping wax honeycombs into candles. Mosey Muller was kept busy all afternoon as he hand cranked an old ice cream maker to churn the creamiest vanilla ice cream. Anne Bishop Rachel, the Museum's events director, transformed the faces of the children into the fantasy beast of their choice with delicate face painting.

Thanks to the efforts of Jamison White-Wilson and her committee including Elizabeth Skinner, Anne Bishop Rachel, Pam Jackson, Julia Vance Carter, and Katie Milligan there were so many choices for the little ones and parents too, from walking around - and mostly on - the hay bale maze, stringing beads, making gift boxes from old holiday cards, and dancing to the folk tunes of Dunegrass.

As always, the local community both individuals and businesses rallied to support this annual first rite of fall including Sean Hattrick, Hamptons State Bank, Rose and John Dios, Peter Hallock, UBS Financial Services, and Wachovia Securities.

Over in Sag Harbor on the heels of the village's memorable 300th birthday celebration another milestone was marked with a triple celebration at Cormaria Retreat House on Bay Street overlooking the harbor. Some 130 friends and neighbors gathered for cocktails and dinner to toast the retreat house director Sister Ann Marino on her 70th birthday, 50 years as a nun, and her 25th anniversary at Cormaria.

Sister Ann Marino and family at Cormaria. Photo by John Wegorzewski

With the evening so mild, guests flooded the huge veranda and spilled out to the lawn with their sweeping views of Shelter Island and the bay before heading into dinner in the famed mansion once the home to a prominent whaler.

There were several generations of Marinos on hand from East Quogue and The Bronx as well as scores of local friends including Chris and Jean Bishop, Frances and Ann Schiavoni, Kay Delaney, Rose Mary Kelley, Bernadette Ott, Michael Grim, Wayne Gambino, Eloy and Mary Ellen Caracuel, and Barry and Cindy Fein.

For years, Cormaria has been a quiet refuge for those seeking an opportunity for personal reflection and growth. Under Sr. Ann, the retreat has also become the setting for gatherings for people living with AIDS and breast cancer. Indeed, Cormaria will host Breast Cancer Survivor Day on October 14 for all survivors and their caregivers.

In a truly heartwarming show of community caring, folks from all over the East End turned out in full force to help a neighbor and his family. When word spread that Craig Dillon, a popular local contractor and a longtime officer and trustee of the Elks Club, had been stricken by a rare neurological disease that has impaired his ability to work fellow Elks members and the Southampton Chamber of Commerce sprung into action.

Saturday evening, the tent on the Elks grounds was packed to overflowing for a fundraiser with refreshments and raffle and auction prizes donated by almost every business in the area to help Dillon's family with the enormous medical expenses. For once even political opponents put aside their differences in a rare show of solidarity with a neighbor. Three cheers to Millie Fellingham, the Executive Director of the Southampton Chamber or Commerce, who got the word out!

Susannne Corboletta, Carol Boye, Tykie Ganz, and Susan D'Alles at the Watermill
Museum for the Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue benefit. Photo by John Wegorzewski

At the Watermill Museum, twenty six local artists offered their recent works for sale to benefit the extraordinary work of the Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue (AFER) which rescues horses and ponies from slaughter and abusive situations, rehabilitates them and places them in loving environments.

The Sagaponack based organization has long been a favorite animal welfare group among Hamptonites and in particular their children who love to visit the farm and hug a horse. Quite a few attendees at the Sunday afternoon champagne brunch reception were adoptive "parents" of horses from Amaryllis and were on hand including Holly Dunham and Deborah Anderson to prove the efficacy of AFER's program and support their humane work.

Following the equine theme, many of the artists showed paintings of horses- from galloping polo ponies to regal stallions - as well as other wildlife portraits and landscapes. The artists, many with international reputations, included Ted Asnis, Marlene Bezich, Carol Boye, Alan Bull, Pam Capozzola, Karen Chandler, Joe Citrone, Susanne Corbelletta (her stunning Tre Cavalli was the art used for the event's poster), Joanne Corretti, Susan D'Alessio, Muriel Hanson Falborn, Tykie Ganz, Beth Giles, Bill Girimonti, Aubrey Grainger, Jason Green, Susan Olafsen Hatzel, Scott Hewett, Helen Smith Jones, Joann Moraldo, Gordon Matheson, Kimberly McSparran, Amy Pink, Carol Saxe, KAR Schoonmaker, and Lisa Smart.

The waterside setting of the historic mill (which is working feverishly on its own fundraising to get the wheel spinning once again) was an idyllic setting for the Amaryllis supporters to share their mutual interests in all things nature. Mingling in the museum and on the decks were newly weds Fred Pinsky and Amy Pink, Robin Lovett, author Patricia O'Keefe Reinhardt, Charlie and Doreen Roney, Jeanne and Bill Reilly, preservationists Marian Lindberg and Arthur LaWall, Concetta Gray and publisher Kyle Cranston, and Wolffer Estates Sue Calden who helped put together some spectacular wine experiences for the auction.

Artist Carol Boye pulled the whole event together in six weeks and was able to obtain amazing support from our community, so much so that everything from printing to champagne was donated. A tip of our hats to the generous supporters: Madison Blue Printing, Fred Terry's Farm, Southampton Publick House, Hampton Balloon, Village Cheese Shop, The Drivers Seat, La Parmigiana, Indian Cove Restaurant, Oakland's Restaurant, Wild by Nature, Going Nuts, Wolffer Vineyards & Stables, Martha Clara Vineyards, Macari Vineyards, Route 48 Vineyards, Waters Crest Vineyards, Leiny Piro, Rosemarie Montague, Jill and Jim Mulvey and Water Mill Museum.

Morris and Jaci Reid at the VH1's Save The Music gala. Photo by Rob Rich

VH1's Save The Music gala in the heart of Lincoln Center brought an eclectic and electric mix of guests, all in the name of its foundation dedicated to funding music education programs in elementary schools nationwide by providing musical instruments.

Conan O'Brien hosted the evening, with music performed by the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, and John Mayer. Special honorees included Mariah Carey, who stunned the audience with her curve-hugging purple gown, former president Bill Clinton (who flashed the green bracelet by Simmons Jewelry in support of the Diamond Empowerment Fund), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and NAMM: The International Music Products Association. Sen. Clinton wasn't on hand to receive her honors, but husband Bill accepted in her place.

Tim Gunn of "Project Runway" and "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" emceed a live auction for a guitar signed by frequent Hampton visitor Sir Paul McCartney. The guitar, whose bidding started at $30,000, eventually raised $45,000 for the foundation.

Founded in 1997, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has provided over $40 million to date in musical instruments in over 100 cities throughout the country.

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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