Bridgehampton Community Notes, February 20

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Well, I guess the groundhog was right about six more weeks of winter. American writer and columnist William E. (“Bill”) Vaughan once noted, though, that “The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears.” Celebrated on February 2, Groundhog Day supposedly evolved from Ancient European folk beliefs dealing with weather lore. It was believed that if a hibernating animal cast a shadow on February 2, winter would last for another six weeks. If there was no shadow, spring would come early. However, the National Climatic Data Center has declared, after some study, that the groundhog has “no predictive skill.”Here in Bridgehampton, it is fairly safe to predict that in February the good folks at the Bridgehampton Association will announce their annual grant awards. This year they are distributing grants totaling $40,250 to 16 local organizations. Recipients include the Bridgehampton Community House Association, the Bridgehampton Museum, the Bridgehampton ViIlage Improvement Society, the Children’s Museum, the Choral Society, the Coalition for Women’s Cancers, the Dominican Sisters, East End Hospice, Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt, Habitat for Humanity of Peconic, the Hamptons Health Society, the Hampton Library, Maureen’s Haven, the Peconic Baykeeper, the Peconic Land Trust, and Southampton Hospital.

The Bridgehampton Association, a nonprofit corporation, raises money to support local charitable, cultural, and educational organizations. In its 29-year existence, the association has awarded more than $850,000 to public service groups with broad ranging missions that benefit the Bridgehampton community.

Their year-round fundraising activity is the Book Bay, a wonderful secondhand book store housed at the old firehouse on School Street in Bridgehampton, staffed entirely by volunteers. It’s open most days during the summer and on weekends during the rest of the year. They sell quality used books from current bestsellers to classics at bargain prices. In addition, the association sponsors a golf tournament every May at the Bridgehampton Club, and they hold a holiday fair on the first Saturday every December, offering shoppers a wide range of handcrafted goods, home-baked foods, wreaths, greens, jewelry, and other treasures. For more information about the Bridgehampton Association, you can contact its president, Blair Fiore, at (917) 887-1752 or email her at blairmail@me.com.

The Bridgehampton Museum has received some welcome news. The Southampton Town Board has adopted a resolution authorizing the town supervisor to execute a contract with WGP Contracting, Inc. for foundation and exterior repairs on the Nathaniel Rogers House. The town attorney’s office will now prepare the contract, and we should see work resume on the historic building in March. Meanwhile, the Bridgehampton Museum’s architect has completed the drawings and specifications necessary for the town to advertise a request for bids for all of the remaining restoration work on the house. The town will advertise a request for bids for that work sometime this spring.

This Thursday, February 20, at 6 p.m., the Southampton Trails Preservation Society will be hosting their “Annual Winter Dinner” at the Almond Restaurant in Bridgehampton. Then on Sunday, February 22, there will be a Horses On Trails (HOT) Ride. Bring your own horse and helmet. You must be a member of STPS/HOT to participate due to insurance requirements. You can join on the day of ride! Call Leslie Lowery at (631) 603-8661 for dinner reservations and details on the HOT ride’s meeting place and time.

The South Fork Natural History Society’s board president, Andy Sabin, will be leading, on Saturday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m., an “Eastern Tiger Salamander Search: Family Walk.” Sabin, a herpetologist, will lead this nighttime search for the largest of our native salamanders, the endangered Eastern Tiger Salamander. Bring a flashlight and wear boots, as late winter rains will make the ground soggy. This walk will take place only after heavy rains. For reservations, call SoFo at (631) 537-9735. The fee for non-members of SoFo is $7 for adults and $5 per child.

At the Bridgehampton Museum’s Corwith House, an art exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and will remain open through late April. The exhibit presents a collection of Bernard Springsteel’s Landscape Watercolors, paintings that reflect the beauty of the East End, including images of old barns, houses and watercraft. Most of the paintings have recently been donated to the museum, but several others on display are available for sale by the artist. Call (631) 537-1088 for more info.

The BH Museum will also be hosting its annual Potluck Supper on Friday, February 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. for members and volunteers at the archives building. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish or dessert while the museum’s staff provides the main courses. RSVP at 537-1088.

If you’re not yet a member of the Bridgehampton Museum, now is a good time to join. And if you enjoy local history, now is the time to become a tour guide with the museum, which is seeking volunteers interested in lending some time to give tours. Docent training will be provided this spring. Have fun, meet new people from the community and learn about local history and life in Bridgehampton. Call (631) 537-1088 for details and to sign up.

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