Second Annual Bivalve Ball

October 14, 2023 at La Buena Vida Restaurant

November 6, 2023, by Aeriel Brown and Alex de Toth. Photography by Daphne Youree

Mastic Beach Conservancy held its second annual Bivalve Ball on Saturday October 14th, 2023 at La Buena Vida Restaurant in Moriches, NY. The event, a key fundraising effort for the organization, was attended by more than one hundred and fifty people and raised more than $35,000 through a combination of ticket sales and a silent auction.

The Bivalve Ball is attended by over 150 people

“We can’t thank our event sponsors enough,” said Maura Spery, the group’s president. “It’s only through the partnerships with the community and our sponsors that we are able to do the great work we do.”

Sponsors included the Haugland Energy Group, The Frances and Peter Robotti Foundation, the Radical Relief Fund and Sunrise Wind. Brooklyn-based New Information Studio provided support through signage and design.

left to right: Felicia Panessa (Auction coordinator), Alex de Toth (Event Director), Emily Harrison (Event coordinator), Nackie Karcher (Event decorator), Andrew Purcigliotti (Event designer), Jessamyn Go (Event coordinator)

This year the group honored Wendy Moore, Executive Director, Lazy Point Farms; Shameika Hanson, Climate Adaptation Specialist, The Nature Conservancy and Peter Walsh, Education Director, Seatuck Environmental Association for their extraordinary work in the environmental sector. Each received a hand crafted piece by local artist Jessamyn Go of Femme Sole, in recognition of their work. Politicians representing the area, including Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, State Senator L. Dean Murray, Assemblyman Joe D. Stefano, Suffolk County Legislator Jim Mazzarella and Councilman Dan Panico were also in attendance and gave each honoree a proclamation.

back row: left to right: Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Assemblyman Joe D. Stefano, State Senator L. Dean Murray, Mastic Beach Conservancy President Maura Spery, Councilman Dan Panico and Suffolk County Legislator Jim Mazzarella. Front Row: left to right: Shameika Hanson, Climate Adaptation Specialist, The Nature Conservancy, Wendy Moore, Executive Director, Lazy Point Farms and Peter Walsh, Education Director, Seatuck Environmental Association.

Party-goers enjoyed local oysters donated by Sue Wicks of Violet Cove Oyster Co. and wine from local wineries Macari Vineyards, Bedell Cellars, Wölffer Estate Vineyard and beer from Blue Point Brewery, as well as three specialty cocktails named for local waterways. Attendees danced the night away to DJ sets by Kimbe Meares and DJ Ray Knives. Rose Kelso acted as the night’s MC and entertainment.

The Silent Auction and raffle were integral to the fundraising success. Bidding for the silent auction stopped at 9pm creating lively competition for people in the room. Silent auction items ranged from VIP experiences/tickets, local BnB’s, beauty products/services, art, clothing, jewelry and gift certificates to local and NYC restaurants. There were more than 40 unique items generously donated by Mastic Beach Conservancy members and supporters. The in-room raffle was an exciting conclusion to the evening!

The money raised at the event will go directly towards the group’s initiatives which includes the creation of blue/green trails, environmental education, aquaculture, regular clean ups and summer internships. A huge thank you to all who donated!

Guests could view silent auction items on display and enter a raffle to win prizes donated by local shops and restaurants.

Art and clothing on display from the silent auction.

Pat Cupples, Mastic Beach Conservancy Education Director, with students from the summer internship program.

“Our key mission is to protect and conserve the publicly-accessible, recreational waterfront park throughout the Mastic Beach Peninsula. We work hard to improve the waterfront’s environmental health while making it possible for everyone to experience the area’s incredible natural beauty,” said event organizer Alex de Toth. “I’m thrilled that we could all come together, celebrate the work we’ve done and raise some money to further our mission through the next year and beyond.”

More photos can be viewed at this gallery.

It takes a village! Bivalve Ball Event coordinators and Volunteers.

Thank you to our sponsors: