Montauk Community Notes, January 18


Last week’s focus on volunteerism had overlooked mention of Maureen’s Haven, an organization that provides a hot meal, a warm refuge, and a sense of safety and connection for members of our community in need. All of this is provided by church and synagogue volunteers as well as private groups. St. Therese and other Montauk volunteers are hosts on alternate Saturdays at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, providing toiletries, clothing, a warm meal and breakfast and lunch to go.

On Christmas Eve we had the opportunity to see some of the holiday preparations for the guests at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons. We were informed that this was the third year of sheltering at the synagogue facilities, and it seemed well organized. “We try to keep holidayish,” said Sarah Blue, who is a core volunteer along with the cantor and four kitchen workers. The meal, supervised by Patsy Boyland, “the chef du jour,” was impressive and much in the holiday spirit, with meat, soup, pasta, apple crisp and red velvet cupcakes. We toured the inviting social room where movies are screened, a nurse provides blood pressure checks and another volunteer sings operatic and holiday songs. We also viewed the free recycled clothing store in another room. One gets the strong impression that compassion for the guests’ dignity is a meaningful facet of their stay, feeding their spirits, as well as their bodies. To volunteer or donate funds for this worthy cause, contact 727-7973 or email

Through a generous grant from local nonprofit Paddlers for Humanity, all donations made to the Montauk Playhouse Foundation through January 31, will be doubled up to $15,000. The group raises funds to “better the lives of children,” locally and globally, through paddling and running adventures. Visit them at

Tom Dunfee of Ditch Plains sent us an interesting idea for a winter activity—learning to play a musical instrument. With the help of his friend, Jane Hastey, he is hoping to form a group to play music on the recorder, a woodwind instrument suitable for learning music and appealing to amateur players. He states that, “lessons with Jane will begin soon. All ages are welcome and no musical background is necessary.” Call Tom at 668-4585 or email and leave your name, phone number and email address if you are interested. It sounds like fun!

From her vacation at St. Martin, Library Program Director Carolyn Balducci sent us an excited email about their daughter Sirad. “Roadie,” a film she produced, was very favorably reviewed by The New York Times on January 6, and is scheduled to have a “grand opening” in Huntington. “What a wonderful way to start the New Year!” Carolyn wrote. She, her husband, Gino, and daughter Victoria found the Caribbean Island to have a beautiful coastline as well as lovely people. Gino, we’re told, enjoyed practicing his French.

Speaking of the library, “Middlemarch” is scheduled for discussion reading by the Book Group this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Friends of the Montauk Library has scheduled Woody Allen’s romantic comedy, “Midnight in Paris” for tomorrow’s free winter movie series.

Also, Montaukers may be most interested to see the free production of “Three Tall Women,” coming to The Naked Stage at Guild Hall and written by our own Edward Albee. It will be performed on Tuesday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.

We encountered Kate Meuth Wednesday at the IGA. She is one of the many creative people we know in the East End, and we learned that she has been teaching drama exercises at the Montauk School for the last seven years. A choreographer, playwright and dancer, she is now working with fifth-graders and says, “It’s just great, teaching children how to use their imaginations. I love Principal Jack Perna’s commitment to the arts.” Interesting, the night before we’d just seen her husband, Josh Gladstone, performing in Henrik Ibsen’s play, “Ghosts,” at Guild Hall.

Congratulations are in order for Alan Burke, sworn in as captain of the EMS company. His son Sgt. Ryan Burke, an army combat engineer, is leaving for Afghanistan shortly.

The recent beautiful weather has created eager nature lovers checking out the yet unfinished new Amsterdam Beach Preserve. Last Wednesday some noted walkers included Carol and John Andrews, Diana Lindley, daughter of CCOM founder Hilda Lindley and former superintendent of state parks George Larsen and his family.

This Friday at 7 p.m., the Montauk Downs will be the site of a Pub Quiz sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Montauk Friends of Erin. Teams are limited to four players; $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Call 946-3772. Rori Finazzo Butterfield will be the quiz master.

On Wednesday, January 25 at 10 a.m., Ed Porco (668-2947) will lead a three-mile hike on the lovely Point Woods Trail. Meet on Camp Hero Road about a mile east of Deep Hollow Ranch. You will walk along trails lined with beautiful, varied trees up to the breathtaking bluffs overlooking the Atlantic. You will return invigorated and refreshed.

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