Some say, “’Tis the season of giving,” and one doesn’t have to look very far to see the truth in that quote coming to life around Southampton. Toy drives and donations are being organized at numerous locations, so join in the holiday spirit while it lasts.On November 25, the Southampton Association presented the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance with a $25,000 check to cover the costs of equipment for an exercise room in the company’s new building after it is constructed. The exercise room is included in the plans for a 10,000-square-foot facility, which was approved by vote last October.
Last weekend, the Southampton Garden Club organized its 5th annual holiday workshop to bring East End Hospice patients seasonal basket arrangements. The tradition began with a partnership between East End Hospice and the Garden Club and has grown each year to accommodate the ever-growing number of patients under current hospice care. Lydia Wallis, the workshop organizer and former president of the Garden Club, said in a statement that the patients light up with joy when they receive the baskets, adding that the number of recipients has quadrupled since the program began in 2011. The Southampton Garden Club, now in its 112th year, also organized a food drive to benefit Human Resources of the Hamptons.
The Jubilee of Mercy began Tuesday, December 8. The holy year of mercy was announced by Pope Francis earlier this year and in honor of that declaration, the Basilica of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Southampton will celebrate mass on Sunday, December 13. Bishop Nelson Perez, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, will open the main aisle door of the church as a Door of Mercy, allowing visitors and pilgrims to the church to pass through and receive blessings. Each Thursday of the Year of Mercy, the Basilica will host special events with a noon mass.
On Tuesday, December 15, the Southampton Soap Company will host a handmade holiday gift show to help support The Retreat. Local artisans will participate in the sale with goods available for any and all holiday gift ideas. Ten percent of all sales during the show will go to benefit The Retreat. Southampton Soap Company is also pledging ten percent of all sales during the month of December to benefit The Retreat.
The Rogers Mansion Museum on Meeting House Lane, part of the Southampton Historical Museum, will offer free admission and tours through December. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Historical Museum is also offering a 20-percent discount in the museum shop on Fridays and Saturdays. Museum guests can find local crafts, jewelry, clothes, pottery and more. Refreshments will be available through December.
Southampton residents Lisa Daffy and Jane Gorman stumbled on a surprising sight last weekend when they discovered a rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle lying cold-stunned on the beach. The Kemp’s ridley is recognized by National Geographic as the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world, having initially been brought close to extinction through hunting, but now threatened by environmental factors. Ms. Daffy and Ms. Gorman quickly contacted the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation to come and rescue the turtle.
Rachel Bosworth, a spokesperson for the Riverhead Foundation, stated that the turtle was recovering steadily, and that its body temperature and heart rate were beginning to normalize. Having been treated for dehydration, it appeared that it would make a recovery in the facility, but unfortunately the turtle died Tuesday morning from suspected renal failure as a result of prolonged hypothermia. It was two years old. The turtle is one of seven so far this season that the Riverhead Foundation has responded to, says Bosworth, three of which were rescued from Southampton Town. The other two turtles, both of which are Atlantic green sea turtles, are expected to make a full recovery. Any residents who discover a sea turtle while beachcombing this off-season are encouraged to call the foundation’s 24-hour hotline at (631) 369-9829.
Local resident Dieter von Lehsten will be at the library on Monday, December 14, at 5:30 p.m. to present an Armchair Traveler program titled, “Romania: 8,000 Years of History.” Mr. von Lehsten explores the duality of modern day Romania, a country which on one hand lives in the early 20th century and on the other has entered the 21st. This event is free to the public. Register at myrml.org or call (631) 283-0774, ext. 523.