Nonprofits to receive financial boost from fund

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Christian Helck put the finishing touches on a new sign at Martha Clara Vineyards in August. A concert will be held there next summer to benefit local nonprofits.

A newly formed fund created to boost East End nonprofit organizations received a $15,000 grant to jump-start its efforts.

The Long Island Community Foundation, a Syosset-based group that advises and provides grants to nonprofits, provided the grant to create the fund’s organizational infrastructure. The grant will also provide seed money toward All For The East End, a music festival next summer at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead to benefit nonprofits.

The goal is for the fund to financially aid East End Community efforts specifically in five towns — Riverhead, Southold, Shelter Island, Southampton and East Hampton, according AFTEE executive director Mary Morgan.

Cofounders Myron Levine and Dr. Wally Smith came up with the idea for AFTEE. Mr. Levine serves as the new fund’s president. Dr. Smith is managing director and board president of WPPB Peconic Public Broadcasting.

The two men have been talking about the need on the East End for about a year, Ms. Morgan said.

“Once they got the vision together, they moved very quickly” to lay the foundation for AFTEE and seek the seed money from the Long Island Community Foundation, she said.

The foundation started in 1978 as an offshoot of the New York Community Trust and has provided more than $130 million to nonprofits throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. But because the East End population is relatively small compared with the rest of Long Island, the founders of AFTEE saw a need for a special focus to help nonprofits here, Ms. Morgan said.

“This is wonderful news,” Mr. Levine said about the grant. “We are tremendously gratified that the Long Island Community Foundation believes in our mission and that we will become a significant new and creative source for funding and organizational support for all the East End not-for-profits, making it easier for them to concentrate on their own important missions, knowing we have their backs,” he said.

Mr. Smith thanked the Long Island Community Foundation for their support as they launched the new venture.

“WPPB’s board envisioned this unifying effort from our work as a community resource that serves all of our East End non-profits,” he said.

Dozens of sponsors have already signed up to support AFTEE.

“We are proud and excited to be part of this collaborative initiative organized by AFTEE to provide much needed awareness and funding to the nonprofit organizations serving Long Islands five East End towns,” said David Okorn, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation. “The non-profit sector is not only a vital part of the Island’s economy, but also acts to enrich the health, well-being, and overall quality of life for all of our residents.”

The AFTEE board will be seeking guidance from the nonprofit community on the East End to inform their decisions about the needs here, Ms. Morgan said. With the help of the nonprofit community, AFTEE will be formulating a grant application to be used by organizations seeking support, she said.

Within a few weeks, AFTEE will be going out to the community seeking assistance from all businesses and professionals to support nonprofits in the area, Mr. Levine said.

“We all share an interest in protecting the singular quality of life and community that makes our five East End towns unlike any other place in the world,” Ms. Morgan said. “The excitement is growing as we approach businesses and individuals who want to participate in this new community effort.”

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