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Jul 27, 2010 6:14 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society looks to youth for fair leadership

Jul 27, 2010 6:14 PM

The two women who are in charge of running the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society’s 114th annual fair this Saturday are the youngest members ever to tackle the management of the fair. They say it’s all part of a campaign to encourage younger members to join.

“We are trying to bring new life to the LVIS,” said Courtney Wingate, the high-spirited 31-year-old chairwoman of the event. Her equally energetic friend and vice-chairwoman for the fair is Sarah Minardi, 30.

Both women were born and raised in East Hampton, and attended East Hampton High School.

“We are about a decade younger than the youngest members of LVIS,” Ms Wingate said. “We’re all about upholding the tradition of the LVIS, while bringing a new voice to the organization.”

LVIS welcomes members of all ages, Ms. Minardi said, but she and Ms. Wingate are trying to entice their friends to join. “It’s a challenge,” Ms. Minardi said, because women in their 30s are busy working and raising families.

“To be a good volunteer, it’s all about finding the time,” said Ms. Wingate.

The fair and the barbecue will take place on Saturday, July 31, on the LVIS grounds at 95 Main Street, in East Hampton.

The fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the chicken barbecue, which is co-sponsored by the East Hampton Lions Club, will run from 3 to 7 p.m.

Admission to the fair is free.

“We’ve been trying to recruit younger members for all our events,” said Joan Ehren, president of the LVIS. “It’s an ongoing process. We also have a membership committee that tries to recruit younger members. But we find that middle-aged and older women have more time to devote to LVIS.”

More than 100 members and volunteers participate in the fair, she said. The LVIS has about 350 members.

She said Ms. Wingate was chosen as chairwoman for the event because she has successfully volunteered for the fair in the past, running the barbecue.

All three women said that something new at the fair this year is an expanded Playland, the special area for children. “We’ve really expanded opportunities for children to participate,” said Ms. Ehren. “Playland has been much smaller in the past.”

Playland will feature a carousel, giant slide, jumbo character balloons, face painting, pony rides, puppet show, petting zoo and other activities.

Ms. Ehren emphasized that the fair is really for families, not just for adults, although there will be plenty of activities for them, too.

One new item at the fair this year, courtesy of Ms. Wingate’s innovative ideas, will be an old-fashioned photo booth. And you wouldn’t find Lady Gaga tickets on the silent auction bid list at past LVIS fairs, but they are on the list this year

A new service will debut at this year’s fair: A shuttle will run all day between the Guild Hall Clothesline Art Show and the fair.

Adults will find vintage treasures, men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and plants from local Hamptons nurseries, gourmet food, raffles, jewelry, crafts, local fare and a photo booth.

This year everyone can bid on more than 100 items in this year’s silent auction even before the fair opens, because, for the first time, the auction catalog is online.

Bidders can visit www.silentauctioncatalog.com or www.LVIS.org and click on silent auction. They will then be able to see the items and place their bids before fair day. The highest bid will become the first bid when the fair opens. Information on the site will instruct bidders on how to bid and how to send a bid sheet by e-mail to info@lvis.org. Bid sheets can also be faxed to 631-324-1597, or called in to 631-324-1220, extension 1.

All proceeds from the fair will help fund the many projects of the LVIS, including maintenance of the village trees and greens, and its scholarship fund.

“We are so excited about the fair this year,” Ms. Wingate said. “It feels like we have been involved in the LVIS one way or another all our lives.”

“We really care about our community, and the LVIS has done so much for it over the years.” Ms. Minardi added.

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“It’s a challenge,” Ms. Minardi said, because women in their 30s are busy working and raising families.

“To be a good volunteer, it’s all about finding the time,” said Ms. Wingate.

I'll guess single, renting, no mortgage, and no families, but I could be wrong...
Jul 28, 10 11:42 PM appended by Mr. Z
Photo ain't that great, but, I can't see a ring on either woman's finger.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 28, 10 11:42 PM
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 30, 10 5:25 PM
How many people our age have the time, and energy while working two, or more jobs?

Makes me wonder about the audacity of Ms. Wingate's comment.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 30, 10 9:45 PM
Wrong- Both have rings, husbands, homes, and careers. Do you have anything better to do than come down on these girls who are trying to do a good thing?
By LocalTeacher (23), Southampton on Aug 1, 10 12:47 PM
Yes. And curiousity begged the question. I wondered if they consider how fortunate they are to be so stable, and have the time to invest, considering their public comments about volunteerism.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 1, 10 1:32 PM
the will to volunteer and the desire to help their communities come from their upbringing and the love for their community. the pesemistic questions that you ask about people you don't know are wrongly directed. if you are a person who lives in this community you know how hard it is to balance both work, family and a career. no matter if you are single, married, renting, or paying a mortgage, the desire to volunteer is what makes this town a progressive community. great work this weekend ladies, ...more
By tito (56), e hampton on Aug 2, 10 9:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well, should I not ask, I surely will not know. And, yes, I could have phrased it better, though I did find myself incensed with the quote, and I let that get the better of me. And sometimes, there are even more things than those you specify, say, should you not be fully healthy.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 3, 10 2:29 AM
How about just saying thankyou.
By independent observer (34), east hampton on Aug 6, 10 8:49 PM