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Feb 5, 2019 3:38 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

'Keep Sag Harbor Warm' Will Hold Fundraiser For Fuel Oil Assistance

Feb 11, 2019 4:15 PM

The Sag Harbor Food Pantry assists around 75 families living in the Sag Harbor School District. When winter comes, many have difficulty paying for heating oil.

Fuel oil can cost about $400 for 100 gallons, which typically lasts a household four to six weeks.

Urban Zen and Tutto il Giorno have partnered with The SHED Workspace to raise money for families through an event titled “Festa Al Camino,” which in Italian means “feast by the fireplace,” slated for Thursday, February 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Tutto il Giorno. The feast will benefit a new heating initiative called Keep Sag Harbor Warm.

The SHED Workspace co-founders, Sarah Cohen, Liza Tremblay and Amanda Millner-Fairbanks, said they believe money shouldn’t be an impediment to keeping warm, particularly in a resource-rich village like Sag Harbor.

There is a population of people who work only seasonally and have difficulty affording the necessities, Ms. Millner-Fairbanks said last week. “We all need to support each other as much as we can for the community to flourish.”

The idea for the benefit came after Ms. Millner-Fairbanks met with Principal Matt Malone of the Sag Harbor Elementary School. Mr. Malone pointed out that about 75 families in Sag Harbor who send their children to the elementary school accept assistance from the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry and cannot afford heating oil. The school legally cannot collect funds to give directly to the families, but the food pantry can collect money raised and coordinate heating oil deliveries.

Gabby Karan De Felice, owner of Tutto il Giorno, offered to host the three-course fundraising dinner. The restaurant will provide an affordable menu with wine and beer donated by local purveyors so that as much money as possible can be used for heating oil rather than the event.

“When we opened the restaurant, we said we were going to give back to the community,” Ms. Karan De Felice said on Saturday. “I hope we raise a lot of money for the cause. Not having heat is something you don’t want anyone to experience. We all need to help each other—we’re a community.”

Monica Frisbie, one of Urban Zen’s managers, who also has a 10-year-old in the Sag Harbor School District, added, “People aren’t aware that these things happen in affluent communities.”

Christie Brinkley, Sag Harbor resident and owner of the Bellissima wine line, has donated wine, as has Macari Vineyards of the North Fork.

Auctions will be held during the dinner, offering prizes such as two nights and dinner at the Topping Rose House, surf lessons with pro-surfer Quincy Davis, and VIP tickets to the Hamptons International Film Festival, to name a few.

In addition, a portion of sales from Urban Zen, also owned by Ms. Karan De Felice, will be donated to the cause.

“We want to help the community. That’s the purpose of the project,” Ms. Millner-Fairbanks said, adding that they’d like this to become an annual fundraiser.

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