05/24/19 2:00pm

This poster made by children in Camp Good Grief last year captures many positive emotions.

“For the Love of the Children,” a gathering to support East End Hospice’s (EEH) Camp Good Grief, will be held on Saturday, June 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club. (more…)

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06/27/14 8:00am


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To the Editor:

Now that we have begun to investigate the PSEG substation, we’re finding that there have been many discussions between the parties and there is an option that was presented to the Town Board early this year that seems to have been swept under the table for reasons unknown. (more…)

08/30/12 9:00pm

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Campers at Camp Good Grief in Southold.

Camp Good Grief, the free five-day youth bereavement program now in its 16th season, came to the North Fork for the first time this summer and hopes it’s found a permanent home at Peconic Dunes Camp in Southold.

“I think we’re very much looking forward to making this our base of operations if possible,” said Michael Pitcher, chairman of the board for the camp’s sponsor, East End Hospice.

“It’s a fantastic facility and I think our staff would love not having to reinvent the wheel every year because they’re at a different spot,” Mr. Pitcher added.

Camp Good Grief is designed to ease the pain suffered by young people who have lost family members. Previously located on Shelter Island the camp, and the bereavement care it offers, are free.

“That’s why we have to raise so much money for the camp,” Mr. Pitcher said. “In this crazy medical world, no insurance provides money for bereavement care, but it’s an essential part of what we do and I think offering it for free is a key part of doing it right.”

Campers Thomas Shannon and Brenna O’Reilly, both 11, said the camp has helped them work and play through their grief.

“Basically you come here to try to get over the grief,” Thomas said. “You go to small group and you talk about what happened and how it happened and when it happened and that’s basically it. It’s helped me a lot. My dad had a heart attack while he was sleeping and died in April. I miss him a lot and talk to him all the time. Whenever nobody’s looking or I think he’s sending me a sign, I’m always like, ‘Come on, Dad, really? Really?’ ”

In addition to attending small group and art therapy sessions, this year’s campers also swam, kayaked, played sports and did arts and crafts.

Brenna said her favorite part of the experience was the new friends she made after her grandfather died in March. “It’s awesome,” she said. “It’s helped a lot.”
Mr. Pitcher said the camp deliberately places the youths in small groups.

“Small groups give kids an opportunity to open up because they’re surrounded by kids that have gone through the exact same thing instead of feeling like an outsider,” he said.

Camp director Sarah Zimmerman said small group and art therapy sessions are broken up by recreational activities to tailor a bit-by-bit grieving process and that being a day camp instead of overnight is an important part of that.

“We believe an overnight camp wouldn’t work because the kids do a lot of work during the day and even though we make sure that it’s balanced with fun and entertainment, they really need to go home to their safe places and their pillows at the end of the day,” Ms. Zimmerman said. “We had a kid staying with friends on Shelter Island and he had to drop out because he just didn’t feel comfortable enough. There are some overnight bereavement camps out there, but I can’t imagine it works.”

She added that although changes have been made at Camp Good Grief over the years, such as the color-coding of 13 different groups of kids between the ages of 4 and 17, the program has remained the same.

Ms. Zimmerman said day four, when campers are asked to bring in a memento or photograph of their lost loved ones for the “memory” theme, is the most emotional.

Mr. Pitcher agreed and said while volunteering on Shelter Island more than 10 years ago, he noticed a boy about 9 or 10 years old who wasn’t paying much attention to the group session.

“Someone said to take him over to the ball field, so I threw him over my shoulder and took him out there and when we got there he asked if I wanted to see his dad,” Mr. Pitcher recalled. “I said, ‘Sure,’ and he pulled out a picture of a young man in a Greenport High School football jersey. It was just heart-breaking.”

The staff consists of one person for every two campers, including 90 volunteers and art therapy interns from NYU.

“We also have youth volunteers. A lot of our campers go on to become youth volunteers,” Ms. Zimmerman said. “We couldn’t do this without them.”

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02/02/11 3:40pm

The following announcements from local and regional organizations were released to the Reporter this week.

Hosting an event of local interest to Shelter Islanders? Send an announcement to the Reporter at [email protected] or [email protected]

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Shelter Island Library is looking for authors for its Book & Author Festival, which was a big hit last July.

Calling local authors

The second annual Shelter Island Library Book & Author Festival will take place at the library on Saturday, July 9 at 2 p.m.

Local authors with books published between 2009 and 2011 are invited to participate in this benefit event. Proceeds support the renovation of the library’s lower level. More than 40 local authors took part in last year’s popular event.

For more details, contact Library Director Denise DiPaolo at 749-0042, extension 103, or email her at [email protected]

McGann-Mercy awards dinner

Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan Junior High and High School in Riverhead will hold its Annual Principal’s Dinner at Giorgio’s in Baiting Hollow on Saturday, March 12, 2011.

This year, McGann-Mercy is proud to honor Kevin O’Connor, President of Bridgehampton National Bank who will receive the Principal’s Award, Father Henry Leuthardt ‘79, Pastor at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Ronkonkoma who will receive the Catherine McAuley Award, and Dr. Steven Cheeseman ‘89, Associate Superintendent of School for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the McGann-Mercy Tuition Assistance Fund.  Approximately 20% of Mercy families received some type of tuition assistance for the 2010-2011 school year.  The availability of funds depends on donations; requests for assistance for the upcoming school year have more than doubled.  At this time, there are simply not enough funds to assist all the Mercy families in need.

For sponsorship information or to purchase tickets to the Principal’s Dinner, please call the Development office at 631-727-5900 ext 21.

Located in Riverhead, New York, it is the mission of Mercy High School to provide an environment in which all students are challenged and inspired to achieve their personal best. With approximately 500 students in grades 7-12, the school’s uniquely small Catholic community, with its enriching and supportive environment, has its roots in the religious traditions of the sisters of Mercy and the Catholic faith. The administration, faculty and staff are dedicated to teaching students to live morally, responsibly, and productively.

Distinguished by the United States Department of Education as a National School of Excellence, McGann-Mercy is committed to preparing leaders for tomorrow.

Camp Good Grief event

Janice Huff, chief meteorologist for WNBC in New York City and host of “Wednesday’s Child,” a weekly adoption television feature that airs Wednesdays (and Sundays) on NBC, will be the guest speaker at the 12th annual Valentine Salon. Once again, Juliet Papa of 1010 WINS News Radio will emcee the event.

The Valentine Salon is a luncheon that helps raise money and awareness for Camp Good Grief, a children’s bereavement summer day camp located on Long Island and sponsored by East End Hospice. The camp is offered free of charge to any child aged 4 to 15 who has experienced the devastating loss of a loved one.
The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 from 11:15 am. until 2 p.m. at 583 Park Avenue, New York City. “Eat, Give, Love” is the theme of this year’s event, which attracts over 200 local women for a fun-filled afternoon of shopping, networking, fundraising and most importantly, awareness for Camp Good Grief.

Barbara Zobian, president of Candlelighters, NYC, a branch of the national organization that supports families of children who are battling cancer, will receive this year’s “Good Heart Award.” The award is given to women who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to helping children. Jacalyn Weinstein, East End Hospice board member and event co-founder, will present this prestigious “Manfredi created” award to Ms. Zobian.

East End Hospice is a New York State certified hospice that provides individualized plans of treatment to terminally ill patients and their families who live on the East End of Long Island. No one is ever denied care due to the inability to pay for services.

Tickets begin at $200 and are available through the East End Hospice Development Office at 631-288-7080 or at eeh.org. Tables and sponsorships are still available; please call the office for details.

ARF offers low cost spay/neuter clinic

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Inc. (ARF) will participate in Spay Day, a national campaign of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), to promote the life-saving benefits of spay/neuter.  A week-long clinic offering free or low cost spay/neuter surgeries for pets of needy families in East Hampton, Southampton and Shelter Island will take place the last week of February.

Millions of homeless animals are euthanized each year in the U.S due to over population. Spay/neuter helps to reduce this problem, lessening the burden on our town animal shelters and the taxpayers as well as protecting pet health and improving pet behavior.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be a resident of East Hampton, Southampton or Shelter Island towns (proof of residency required)
  • Must show proof of financial need (2010 year-end tax statements must be submitted)

A special deal is being offered for Pit Bulls. ALL Pit Bulls will be spayed or neutered FREE of charge. Owners must be a resident of one the three towns, but proof of financial hardship does not need to be demonstrated. Also all eligible cats will also receive a FREE microchip.

To find out if you qualify, please call ARF at 631-537-0400 ext. 207.  Each case will be reviewed individually and appointments must be made in advance.

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons was founded in 1974 and is the leading animal welfare organization on the East End of Long Island.  Each year we take in over 800 cats and dogs and during their stay provide nutritious food, exercise, a warm place to sleep and excellent veterinary care in our state-of-the art Adoption Center.  ARF is dedicated to finding loving homes for our precious cats and dogs not only to improve their lives but also the lives of the people who adopt them.

ARF is located at 90 Daniels Hole Road in Wainscott. For more information, visit the ARF website.

Warm up with Winterfest

The East End Tourism Alliance is doing what it promised, working to drive tourism traffic in the off season with creative  internet based marketing twists to support  regional tourism  and add more consumer value and fun to the Winterfest 2011 program.

The 2011 Long Island Winterfest – Jazz on the Vine weekend events, February 11 to March 20, are organized by the East End Arts Council and the Long Island Wine Council, with assistance from the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development under the auspices of the Office of Film & Cultural Affairs, the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as support from Hotel Indigo, Cross Sound Ferry, Teatro Experimental Yerbabruga and Peconic Public Broadcasting.

For more information on Winterfest programs, click here.

EETA is the 2011 Program Ticket sponsor, visitors attending this year’s events at the participating wineries will pay a $10.00 admission fee for special events at the wineries.  In return, they will receive a commemorative Winterfest 2011 Jazz on the Vine two part ticket that will entitle the ticket holder to both a free glass of wine and the opportunity to win one of the weekly eastendgetaway weekend packages if their ticket number matches the weekly winning ticket number posted on eastendgetaway.com each week.

East End Getaway is also hoping to build awareness and more participation through a Facebook challenge, every time 50 new friends “like” eastendgetaway.com on facebook, a winner is randomly chosen among all of Eastendgetaway.com’s friends for two free tickets to Winterfest!

The weekend getaway packages include overnight accommodations at Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Jedediah Hawkins Inn, Enclave Inn, Heron Suites, Hyatt Place East End, Hotel Indigo, gift certificates for Vintage Tours, Navy Beach and Southampton Publick House,  2 tickets to Atlantis Aquarium, a wine basket and a welcome gift bag from Tanger Outlets.  The weekly winning ticket number will be posted each Tuesday throughout Winterfest between Feb 18 and March 25.

Bryan Deluca, President of East End Tourism Alliance, said  ” The eastendgetaway.com  website  continues to grow as a first stop tourist destination website for the east end. Since launching last year, over 10,000 visitors have used the website. We are getting great feedback from site users that they find eastendgetaway.com to be user friendly and very informative for all there is to experience on the East End.  We believe that by creatively utilizing the internet platform to reach a wider audience, the East End Tourism Alliance  is helping to build the off season day trip and overnight accommodation market. We are very excited to be the ticket sponsor for this year’s Winterfest program.”