Written by Matthew A. Piacentini Friday, 26 November 2010 00:00
A few active community members in Sea Cliff have created a new way to bring attention and aid to local causes that are either not addressed by existing organizations or whose needs go beyond what current efforts can handle.
Sea Cliff Community Harvest celebrated its new mission this past weekend with an autumn-themed Harvest Fest at the historic Carpenter Avenue Victorian home of Frank Scavone, who, along with David Santoro, conceived of the idea for the organization. The two now work with Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy and Joseph Ciampa on an informal governing committee to execute their mission.
“While certainly a beautiful setting, it is the people of Sea Cliff that make it a special place, a community of artists and musicians, people who show up to contribute however they can,” shared Scavone. “These people inspire me and this was the genesis of Harvest Fest.”
He told the Record Pilot that the idea is to “harvest” from the community in order to give back to the community, saying, “We want to do as much as we can. We’re four guys who are part of the community, all seeing different things that need to be done. We thought this was a good way to help supplement the other people who are trying to help.”
Mayor Kennedy expanded on the mission of the new organization, saying, “The organizers of SCCH are active members of the community who thrive on working with the numerous and invaluable organizations in our village who provide assistance to our residents. Through a compassionate partnership with friends of our community, it is our goal to address Sea Cliff related issues and ideas that often cannot be readily addressed by other community organizations and to support the other Sea Cliff groups.”
He explained that the main focus of SCCH is to provide charitable assistance to those in need, supporting local efforts for the public good, and strengthening the role of the arts within Sea Cliff.
“The Sea Cliff Community Harvest is a grassroots movement with the mission to improve the quality of life of Sea Cliff residents and helping our community to attain its highest potential,” the mayor continued. In closing he added, “I am extremely proud to be the mayor of a village whose residents take such pride in their community. There is only so much the government can do for citizens and sometimes it is to simply empower the people. I thank God for the kindhearted people I serve in the Village of Sea Cliff.”
Saturday’s kick-off event was a success. About 100 people purchased tickets for the event. The setting around Scavone’s 1873 East Lake Victorian was turned into a harvest-like atmosphere, adorned with pumpkins and mums and campfires.
The band Tidal Grooves provided live tunes, inviting other local artists to sit in on stage as well.
Catering was done by ROOTS, with Chef Santoro serving up an array of harvest-themed delights, paired with wines and harvest-style beers.
Scavone was positive about the end results of the day, as a profit was made and there was a “total yield,” with everything going to good use. He said, “That is very rarely the case, that you get to see total utilization. Any food we didn’t use went to Mutual Concerns, and we actually fed one family battling cancer. All the decorations went to the vendors or others who helped out. And, we had a net profit on the ticket sales, which is hard at a small event. We were counting on just ticket sales and donations, so this worked out fabulously.”
Residents can watch for more events from this new group. Another Harvest Fest next year could be in the works, as well as a clambake for the spring, and maybe an outdoor cinema in the summer, with wine and Italian films.