Clamshell Foundation Seeks Help Making Ends Meet

The Clamshell Foundation is turning to the Hamptons community for support.

After the charity’s annual fireworks and sandcastle contest at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett was canceled twice due to rain this month, the foundation has been left scrambling for funds. The contest, which was supposed to take place on August 2 or 3, normally raises about $5,000 for the foundation from T-shirt sales and entry fees.

This is the first year the contest has been rained out since it began in 1992.

Now, the East Hampton charity is banking on donations and T-shirt sales online to make up the difference.

The Clamshell Foundation first formed 23 years ago and was named in honor of the fishermen who make their livelihood from the water off the coast of Long Island’s East End. Contributions to the charity help fund local food banks, college scholarships and holiday meal programs for senior citizens, among many others.

“The community’s support is needed now more than ever,” Rossetti Perchik, Clamshell Foundation founder and CEO says. “We’re community based and community supported,” he continued. “Every grant we make is used to benefit the people, programs, and projects here on the East End.” And, according to Perchik, since the sandcastle contest was rained out, “Making those grants is a problem we haven’t faced before.”

The foundation will only be able to support those in need as long as donors can make up the deficit caused by canceling this year’s sandcastle contest.

One way to do this, Perchik says, is by purchasing T-shirts that were supposed to be sold at the contest. Available on the Clamshell Foundation’s website for only $25, each shirt sports a picture of the beach with the words “23rd Annual East Hampton Sandcastle Contest” drawn in the sand. An intricate wave design sprouts from the beach and provides the shirt with a beautiful backdrop for the sandy castle tower featured in the middle of the design. A fisherman is pictured atop the tower, casting his rod into the ocean below.

While it might seem odd to buy a shirt for an event that never happened, consider all the merchandise that is made each year for events that never occurred or sports teams that didn’t win. Tens of thousands of T-shirts and baseball hats are shipped to impoverished nations worldwide each year after the Super Bowl. After all, companies that produce the merchandise have no way of knowing which team is going to win and winners’ shirts need to be made before the big game.

So why not sport a cool-looking shirt with a sandcastle on it? Especially if it means supporting the community where we live.

Donations to The Clamshell Foundation are tax-deductible and can be made here on the foundation’s website, clamshellfoundation.org.

Click here for a direct link to t-shirt sales on the Clamshell Foundation site.

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