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Letter: 'Shellabration' Draws 746, Raises Over $3,500 for Local Causes

Seafood festival founder thanks those who made the event shine despite rainy weather and Hurricane Sandy's dent on drawing those from damaged areas farther west.

"Dear Shellabration donors, volunteer workers, participating restaurants and wineries:

Our Dec. 8 and 9 restaurant walk was well received. We sold 746 $10 wristbands! Our objective of 1,000 was hurt by Hurricane Sandy-related problems in Nassau and Brooklyn.

Our beneficiaries, the Southold Project in Aquaculture Training (SPAT) and the American Legion Skating Rink fund will each get checks for $3,541, which is the net after promotion expenses.

The real joy was seeing all the “Shellabants” roaming from one restaurant to the other, comparing tasting notes with newly met friends, and asking each other which they liked best! My impression was that most folks experienced three to four places each day as they fell into groups and got relaxed and picked up more people as they progressed from one to the other.  I met many from the Hamptons, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Brooklyn and Nassau and Western Suffolk Counties — some who have NEVER been here before.  

This is where I get into trouble as the list of people to thank that I have been keeping since May is now lost!  

First are my co-conspirators who agreed to let me rope them into full time unpaid jobs: Caroline Waloski of Siren Song, who created our beautiful logo, posters and cards. Colin Goldberg of Everbeta.com, who hosted our website, and found himself answering last minute edits, changes, additions, new pages, etc, etc, always happily and instantly responsive.

Trevor and Lois Rowe, who created the Shellabration name, and served as our wordsmiths. Chefs/restaurant owners Scott, Robbie, Noah and Debroah and Sarah, tolerated my frequent interruptions, answered stupid questions and refined the shape of the event all summer long.

Our sponsors were early believers and very helpful in all matters of publicity and advertising: Nick Palamento, Town and Country Real Estate, The Suffolk Times, North Fork Patch, Edible East, Academy Printing, Peter Clarke and the Greenport BID, and Rich at Greenport Harbor Brewery, who immediately said “Sure” to my request of taking over his business for the entire weekend.

My request for event staffing help was answered quickly by SPAT and the Greenport Seaport Museum. The SPAT shuckers worked hard both days, and would have nothing to shuck were it not for the generous donations by Widows Hole Oyster Co., Pipes Cove Oyster Co., Southold Fish Market, Oysterponds Shellfish, and of course Kim and Greg from SPAT.

Thanks to Otto Schmidt, Armand DeLuca, Jeff Chgnon, Mark Walsh, Victor DiPaola, and Gregg Rivara.

My ticketing staff were wonderful, even standing in the rain: Nadine King, Mark Walsh, Audrey Rothman, Skip Belli, Carol Sauer, Jerry Cline, Roxanne Zimmer, Frank Humanik, Ann Marie Van Hemmen, Robert Cohen, Janice Bovino, and Linda Auriemma, You guys are great.

And finally, a big thanks to all the participating wineries, B&Bs and restaurants who helped get the word out to help make this happen. I hope everyone feels it was a worthwhile effort and will participate again."

 — John Kramer

What did you think of 'Shellabration'? Feel free to upload pictures of the event to this post: PHOTOS: Greenport 'Shellabrates' Local Wine and Fresh Seafood

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