First impressions can hide as much as they reveal. But if you come away from a first encounter with someone with a feeling that they’re open and interested in you, then the relationship is already established on good terms.
So it was with David Bowd and Kevin O’Shea, who recently paid $3.35 million for the Chequit Inn. Last Saturday Mr. Bowd and Mr. O’Shea introduced themselves to Shelter Island by holding a tag sale at the historic inn in the Heights where everything from spoons to sideboards were going for incredibly low prices.
But it wasn’t just selling off pieces of the old place at bargain basement prices that made the strongest impression, but that the two men gave 100 percent of all funds received to the Tot Lot.
It was a great gesture in many ways, especially choosing to support the restoration of the playground on School Street. The effort to bring back the Tot Lot as a safe place for young children to play sprung from the grass roots, when several mothers got together, organized and made the community aware of a glaring need.
Mr. Bowd and Mr. O’Shea could have contributed to the Island in many ways, but by choosing to support the Tot Lot, it’s obvious they did some research and listened carefully to people before making their decision to help the little ones of the Island.
The two new owners were at the sale Saturday, greeting Islanders and aiding them with their purchases. At one point they were seen helping people carry out items from the Chequit and loading hem in cars.
The sale raised $6,331, and lots of good will for Mr. Bowd and Mr. O’Shea.
Just down the road, while the Chequit sale was mobbed with people, another happy mob descended on Crescent Beach where the fifth annual Turkey Plunge, a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library, was kicking off . This event has quickly become an Island tradition for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. More than $75,000 has been raised by the plungers, local businesses and organizations, with this year’s total reaching $18,000 and money still coming in to be counted.
Saturday was an especially poignant day for the Vielbig family and the many friends of Gail Vielbig, who passed away in May. Gail was, as her husband Peter told the Reporter, “the midwife” helping bring to life the first Turkey Plunge to aid her beloved library. Gail was remembered by many people Saturday, and always will be by those who cherish the best, most generous and caring part of Shelter Island.