Using funds raised following the cancellation of this year’s annual Sandcastle Contest in August, the Clamshell Foundation was able to donate 100 frozen turkey breasts to local churches and organizations on Saturday, November 22, at the Amagansett IGA.
An appeal for donations was made after a rain-soaked weekend washed out the annual summer contest on both the day of the event and the scheduled rain date, resulting in a loss of thousands of dollars for the foundation, which was created in 1992 to support local baymen, clammers and crabbers, and which donates money to various other causes, including scholarships for local high school students.
“Right after the contest, everybody in town helped, in part because we had a good support from the newspaper and the radio stations,” said Clamshell Foundation Executive Director Rosetti Perchik. “When the contest was canceled, we probably lost close to $4,000, so that made up quite a bit,” he said of the fundraising effort that requested that people buy Clamshell Foundation T-shirts to help the organization replace some of the lost funds. The effort raised approximately $2,500, Mr. Perchik said. “It didn’t make up for everything, but we did really well. People stepped forward and said, ‘How can we help?’”
Now, in the holiday spirit, Mr. Perchik said, he’s glad to have some money this year to spread around to those in need. “The scholarships and the turkey program—if we do nothing else, those two things we like to do quite a bit,” he said.
Some of the frozen turkey breasts are to be distributed at the Amagansett American Legion, and some of them will be cooked for a big holiday feast at the American Legion.
“We have a number of American Legion members and veterans who need a little help over the holidays,” said East Hampton Town Councilman Fred Overton, who is also commander of the Legion. “We also put on a Christmas dinner for needy veterans, seniors or shut-ins and those that are home alone. We invite them to come down and eat with us.”
This year, the foundation spent around $1,000 on frozen turkey breasts as opposed to whole turkeys, which they gave away in years past. Mr. Perchik said it’s easier for most people to fit the breasts into their ovens.
“We used to give out 22-pound turkeys and the feedback was, ‘They’re just way too big,’” Mr. Perchik said. “Some seniors’ stoves were too small. The turkeys just wouldn’t fit in there, and sometimes it’s just a couple and not a family. A 20-pound turkey is a big turkey, so we went with smaller things.”
The Retreat, a domestic violence shelter in East Hampton, also received turkey breasts. Maggie Goldfarb, director of development at The Retreat, said they usually distribute the turkeys to their counseling and legal advocacy clients who do not reside at the shelter but are still in need of assistance during the holidays.
“We have a Thanksgiving dinner at our shelter, but we give them to our clients who are living elsewhere. Our clients are able to put on their own Thanksgiving dinner in their homes,” Mr. Goldfarb said of the frozen turkeys.
The Thanksgiving dinner at The Retreat is donated by Citarella.
Frozen turkey breasts also went to the Calvary Baptist Church, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons and Maureen’s Haven.
According to Mr. Perchik, the Thanksgiving turkey donation is one of the most important events for the Clamshell Foundation. “We like to do it every year,” he said. “There’s nothing that can replace a turkey at Thanksgiving.”