Log In   ·   Become A Member

Southampton Fresh Air Home Hosts Annual American Picnic With Fireworks By Grucci

Lee Fryd

The evening featured fireworks by Grucci. (Photo: Carl Timpone/BFA.com)

Two special homes brighten the lives of children with physical challenges: the Fresh Air Home that gives them their own summer camp and the Meadow Lane home that helps support it. For the past 32 years, the Fresh Air Home's Annual American Picnic with Fireworks By Grucci has taken place on the sprawling grounds of this house that sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Shinnecock Bay. But, it has been owned by two different families. Hosting the party was the condition of the sale!

First owner Barbara McEntee had been active in the Fresh Air Home for five years, when she got her big idea. "I wanted fireworks!" she told us, for the summer gala. She and husband Jim had the lawn to hold it.

She had been inspired by a visit with campers' parents at the Hospital for Special Surgery. "A mother told me our organization has changed her son's life and her life," Barbara remembered. "It gave him a place to go where he can feel free, bond with others and learn." And even though she loved and missed him, it gave her relief from his care.

"I was always a physical person who loved sports," Barbara remembered. "When I went to the Fresh Air Home, and saw these children who had no capacity for anything but wheelchairs and crutches, I had to help." A July 4th tradition was born.

Fifteen years later, when Barbara and Jim put the house on the market, there was an unorthodox condition to the sale: a covenant to continue the party for at least five years. "I knew it was a huge thing to ask," Barbara remembered, "not at all easy. But, if someone really wanted this house that's what had to happen."

The Wong family. (Photo: Carl Timpone/BFA.com)

"The house wasn't even officially on the market when David and Danielle Ganek heard about it and came to me. When I told them about this covenant, without hesitation, they said, 'Done!'"

Last year, Barbara and her family lost Jim McEntee. The Fresh Air Home also lost longtime supporter Peggy Hill. Hill's daughter, Stephanie Hesslier has been coming since she was young, and is now a Fresh Air Home Honorary Board Chair. In a special gesture, the 32nd American Picnic was dedicated to the memories of Jim McEntee and Peggy Hill.

Honorary Chairmen were Lise and Michael Evans, Stephanie and Steve Hessler and Christl and Kenny Meszkat. American Picnic Chairmen were Mimi and Andy Crawford, Whitney and Drew Mogavero, Maura O'Rourke, Lyn Devon and William Reardon, Bronwen Smith, Sophie Elgort and Eric Von Stroh and Ashley and Victor Wu.

We chatted with: Jean Shafiroff and daughter Elizabeth Shafiroff, Kate McEntee and James Marzigliano, Raya and Clif Knight, Anne Jameson and Jay Eisenhofer, Louis Burgis and Katarina Dimich, her daughters Leyla and Natalia Giordano and Alan Glatt.

"The picnic is a wonderful event for parents and children," longtime Executive Director Tom Naro told us. "It's got everything you'd have at a traditional family picnic: delicious barbecued chicken, pulled pork, corn on the cob, ice cream, snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn. There's music, dancing, games for the kids and the spectacular fireworks display choreographed to patriotic music that takes place over Shinnecock Bay."

For more information on the Southampton Fresh Air Home, visit: www.sfah.org.


Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a banana?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Rosehip Partners Real Estate
Properties In The Hamptons

East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.

WordHampton Public Relations
We build client revenues and reputations. Our reputation is built on delivering a strong media presence and, as a result, demand for our clients' offerings, resulting in a positive impact on sales. Successful campaigns start with understanding the goals of our clients and developing a customized strategy that will achieve those objectives.

SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster.
SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster. Her treatments are based on five element acupuncture. She also offers Far Infrared Sauna treatments. PEMF cellular excerise.

Top Hat Home Services - Manhattan Luxury Home Care & Management
For the past 14 years, Top Hat has managed Manhattan luxury properties for clients in and out of residence. We currently manage and maintain over 160 Manhattan brownstones, condos and townhomes. Our team of experts at Top Hat serves as your proactive and dedicated Manhattan property management team. We manage, beautify and maintain each client’s home with the highest standards of quality, care and precision. Fully bonded, licensed and insured.