AFTEE Celebrates Launch at Martha Clara Vineyards

Peconic County’s not-for-profits got a day in the sun on Thursday, September 27, as new organization All for the East End (AFTEE) hosted its inaugural kickoff party. Appropriately held at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead—a space that captures the essence of the East End with its sprawling, manicured grounds—the event marked the start of a major initiative to assist and unite East End charities under an umbrella organization that specifically caters to the needs of the area. The mission of AFTEE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit establishment, is to “Generate significant new and creative sources of funding and organizational support for the not-for-profit establishments of Long Island’s East End townships: Riverhead, Southampton, Southold, Shelter Island and East Hampton.”

“We’re an umbrella organization that will showcase local nonprofit organizations through our efforts,” says AFTEE Executive Director Kelly Connaughton.

The idea to create AFTEE was born out of the success of All for the Sea, the annual music festival held at Southampton College to raise money for the school, specifically its Marine Science Program. AFTEE Founder and President Myron Levine (of WPPB radio) sought to create a group that would use an event of a similar caliber to raise money for local charities. Levine discussed the idea with Wally Smith, also of WPPB, and Peconic Public Broadcasting (88.3) eventually presented the idea for AFTEE to a group of colleagues in the nonprofit community. They found strong support for the idea.

“The support of the nonprofits is unparalleled,” says Connaughton. “They love the concept and what we’re trying to do as a region—it’s new and exciting.”

The flagship effort will be a major event at Martha Clara Vineyards on August 19, 2013, and it will keep with some of the traditions of All for the Sea. With the ample facilities offered at Martha Clara, there is space for up to three distinct shows, all in one day, which will culminate with a major production in the evening. Use of the vineyard was donated by owner Robert Entenmann.

AFTEE’s family-friendly festival will be world- class, as Nile Rodgers Productions (NRP) has signed on to produce it. Founded by renowned music producer Nile Rodgers, NRP produces more than 60 worldwide events a year, including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. AFTEE board member Jim Durning, the Managing Director of Digital Media for the Roger Waters Wall Tour, will advise the event marketing campaign. Additional details on AFTEE’s event will be announced in the spring.

AFTEE is working with the Long Island Community Foundation, who will manage and administer the distribution of funds obtained through AFTEE’s efforts. (Money will initially be placed into the “Fund for the East End.”) A new advisory committee made up of one representative from each of the five East End towns will work in conjunction with LICF’s staff to review submitted proposals and recommend organizations that should receive funding.

“We’ve become a forum for various nonprofits to work together,” says Connaughton.

Board members include Myron Levine, AFTEE Founder and President; Jim Durning, Digital Media Director, Roger Waters, The Wall Tour; Bob Edelman, CEO and Publisher, Dan’s Papers; Jeff Fisher, Executive VP, FAB; Gail Furman, President, Furman Foundation; Claudia Pilato, VP Director of Marketing, Bridgehampton National Bank; Joann Ross, President Network Sales, CBS; Wally Smith (ex-officio) GM, WPPB; and Kelly Connaughton, Executive Director AFTEE. AFTEE’s partners are the Long Island Community Foundation, Martha Clara Vineyards and Nile Rodgers Productions (Peter Herman).

Committed sponsors currently include Bridgehampton National Bank (the presenting sponsor), as well as Dan’s Papers, Tanger Outlets, Weber & Grahn, Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation, Pure and Norsic.

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