Recent signs of spring in Montauk gave a dose of cheer to this column last week. This week at my computer I’m wearing a heavy wool sweater, down vest, my bright red scarf, two pairs of my son’s thick socks and I’ve topped off this outfit with a jaunty a tam-o’shanter so as not to mash down my hairstyle. Thus, I avoid cranking up the heat. As the woodpile dwindles we use our wood-burning stove only on the coldest days.Like everyone else in Montauk I check the forecast to see if we’re in the crosshairs for yet another snowstorm. Messy roads mean I catch the 5:38 a.m. train on Monday and hop off in Southampton. This week I anticipate daylight breaks just as I reach the station. However, with daylight-saving time commencing this Sunday, March 9, I’m thinking it may be quite dark again at that hour.
I’m the first to leave footprints in fresh snow on Southampton sidewalks at 6:22 a.m. I see numerous sets of dainty cat paw prints as I trod the snow-covered streets. Cats are hearty, purposeful creatures.
On the subject of hair, last week while tracking down information for today, Ash Wednesday, I learned of an event which has all Montauk abuzz. At St. Therese Church, on Sunday, March 9, following 10:30 a.m. Mass, interested parishioners will cross the street to St. Therese School and find several volunteering licensed cosmetologists ready to completely shave the heads of a number of brave volunteers, of various ages, both male and female.
This week’s head-shaving event at St. Therese Church is a fundraiser under the auspices of St. Baldrick’s Foundation and benefits kids living with childhood cancer.
Kids with cancer often lose their hair during treatment. “Shavees” for St. Baldrick’s Foundation show their support for these children and inspire friends and family to donate money to support childhood cancer research.
According to www.stbaldricks.org, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is directed to childhood cancer research. By working closely with leading pediatric oncologists, every dollar raised goes toward the best possible children’s cancer research. An army of St. Baldrick’s volunteers have made it possible to award $127 million in grants since 2005–nearly $25 million in 2013 alone.
By typing in 11954, Montauk’s zip code, into “search” on the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website, I was able to find Montauk volunteers, dollar amounts pledged in each of their names as well as this year’s fundraising total for St. Therese, to date.
St. Therese’s sponsorship of a head-shaving event was the idea of Simone Monahan of Montauk, who heard about the program four years ago. Along with husband Dick Monahan, Ms. Monahan has had her head shaved at the event each year ever since. I enjoyed speaking with Mr. Monahan, by phone this week. “Now I know why I married Simone,” he said. “With her head shaved, she looked absolutely beautiful.” Mr. Monahan confessed that as a competitive swimmer, having his head shaved affords him certain advantages. It increases his speed at the East Hampton YMCA RECenter pool, where he participates in the Masters Swim program. As for the ladies, he said, “Their hair grows back surprisingly fast and tends to grow in “more natural looking and healthy.” He said he expects to see support from Montauk volunteer firefighters and police department as well at the event.
Quipping that they’d probably pay him not to shave his head, Pastor Bill Hoffmann announced at church on Sunday that Montauk Community Church member Gianna Gregorio, an upper grade student at Montauk School, will have her head shaved for the second time. I checked the website and found that intrepid Gianna’s total puts her well in the lead of 8 Montauk fundraising volunteers. Contender John Anthony Miller, another Montauk School student, is also on the list and would probably appreciate your support!
Today, March 5, for those unable to attend 8:30 a.m. Ash Wednesday services at St. Therese, a shorter 5 p.m. service will take place. Ashes will be available also in a receptacle at the front of the sanctuary, all day, for those wishing to mark themselves on their own and pray.
At MCC, Ash Wednesday Worship Service takes place at 7 p.m. at the church, including imposition of ashes.
There’s time, weekdays this week, to leave donations at Community Church for travelers to bring for the Cuban church mission trip. Accompanying seasoned traveler Mayela Vargas to Cuba will be Pastor Bill Hoffmann and middle daughter Rachel Hoffmann, as well as Iris Mitchell. The group leaves for Guines, Cuba at 3 a.m. on Sunday, March 9. They join with members of East Hampton and Bridgehampton Presbyterian churches for this trip. On two Sundays while Reverend Hoffmann is away on the mission, Chip Duryea and Carol Nye, respectively, will deliver sermons at MCC. Pastor Hoffmann said Ms. Nye’s sermon will touch upon her recent trip to Israel.
The next Women’s Guild Rummage Sale at Montauk Community Church is scheduled for Saturday, March 15, from 9 a.m. until noon. All clothing and linens will be at half price. When I dropped by in February there were lots of interesting things for sale. I bumped into at least half my Montauk friends there! In winter the monthly Saturday morning rummage at the church is definitely a happening place.
At the library this week, “In a World,” a comedy about competing voice-over performers, is Thursday’s selection for The Friends of the Montauk Library’s free Winter Movie Series. The screening will be followed by light refreshments and time for conversation.
Looking forward to next week, on Saturday, March 15, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. at the library, Children’s Librarian Julie Anne Korpi plans the first script read-through of the puppet show which will be performed later this spring. The story is made up entirely of ideas from Montauk kids. From these ideas Ms. Korpi has written a script. A title for the show, “The Lost Jewels and The Tree Nuts,” was decided at February’s meeting. It sounds like good progress has been made on this project, which Ms. Korpi has envisioned for all ages to share.
Here’s what Miss K had to say about the puppet show when I asked her at its beginning: “I have 20 years of performance experience and have directed a show with kids at another library. This project as a whole is something very new for me. I’m a flexible person, and am giving it a try! When I proposed this idea, I emphasized the educational value of creativity, including art, writing, and performance. Of course, the reading and writing is of traditional academic value.
“Collaborating among different age groups is a great learning experience.” Ms. Korpi says that by helping out with younger kids, the puppet show is an opportunity for eighth-grade students at Montauk School to earn up to ten hours toward their high school community service graduation requirement. Seventh-grade students can earn one hour of service. Although they cannot earn credits toward high school graduation, sixth-graders are encouraged to volunteer for fun!
Saturday family time at the library also happens on March 15 from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., for all ages. Toys and games are available, from toddler level to games that will challenge teens and adults.
Wishing everyone a great week! Reach me with your interesting Montauk news and happenings at email@example.com.