Categorized | A Conversation With

Susan Morrissey and Kim Vaughn

Posted on 27 May 2011

web Convo Morrissey Vaughn

The Sag Harbor LVIS members on the challenges of fundraising, decorating the village streets and why there may be no flowers next year.

So I hear the flowers are in danger, what’s the problem?

MORISSEY We just don’t have the manpower and membership to support traditional fundraisers. It takes a lot of people.

VAUGHN Active members we have about 20, four or so actively participate in fundraising.

MORRISSEY it goes on in ever organization, and for some of us we can only commit so much time. In previous years, to help raise money for our projects, we did a house tour, a cocktail party at HarborFest, bake sales, a 50.50 raffle, we used to do a children’s fair. It’s a lot of work. And if the weather’s bad, it’s a bust.

VAUGHN Right now we’re just doing the annual appeal letter.

Is it really possible there won’t be flowers?

MORRISSEY We have the money for this year. It’s next year we’ll be in trouble.

VAUGHN We want to let people know now so we can be in better shape for next year.

Where are the flowers you take care of?

MORISSEY The hanging baskets from the old gas lamps are on Main and Bay streets. And at the Mulvihill Garden at the windmill. We do the flagpole, the urn by the Civil War monument, the urn at 114, and in front of the police department. The park entrance, the memorial at the park. By the Sag Harbor sign as you come into town. And the box by the Variety Store.

VAUGHN And we do the wreaths at Christmastime. And it’s not just the flowers, it’s a scholarship too.

How much does it cost you?

MORRISSEY We’re hoping to raise $25,000. For flowers, maintenance, scholarship, insurance and wreaths at Christmas.

Because membership can’t do as many fundraisers, how do you hope to raise thefunds?

MORRISSEY Were going to send out our annual letter to all the postal patrons, Sag Harbor, Noyac and North Haven. We’ve spoken to the village and spoken to the mayor. We’re going to have a fund drive and our goal is to raise $25,000.

So people understand it, the role the LVIS plays is what?

MORRISSEY We would administer everything that gets done. Designing the baskets and the windmill, for example.

VAUGHN We do some of the plantings ourselves. But the women going up on the ladders was not a good thing. We purchased a water tank, and in turn the village waters the flowers.

MORRISSEY They don’t charge us for that.

VAUGHN The village also helps us with the wreaths. They put them up after we put bows on them and check the lights. And take them down at the end of the season a.

MORRISSEY Also, Twin Forks Moving & Storage stores them for us. There are a lot of people who are volunteering to help us, $25,000 is just the minimum.

VAUGHN We have 54 hanging baskets alone.

MORRISSEY They’re hung from the Whaling Museum down Main Street and then down Bay Street.

What message would you like to convey to rresidents?

MORRISSEY We’re looking for financial support. I don’t think people understand we plant and hang all the flowers and do the Christmas wreaths each year.

VAUGHN A small donation from anybody that enjoys the flowers would go a long way to help sustain the budget.

MORRISSEY Really, a minimal donation from everybody.

VAUGHN  Sag Harbor is a beautiful village, but with the flowers it makes it a spectacular village. It’s just so much prettier.

What challenges do you see?

VAUGHN If we can get new members, we can do more fundraising. We don’t mind doing the work, but we just need more help.

MORRISSEY When I first came we started a big flower campaign. Now it’s a much bigger project and we expanded it. We started with about 32 baskets; now there are 54. The LVIS feels a bit overwhelmed.

Why should someone join?

MORISSEY It’s a civic organization. If they want to keep Sag Harbor beautiful they should join and help us. With it comes a sense of pride in the village, meeting new people, and a sense of accomplishment .

VAUGHN Everybody’s help is going to make this a benefit for the village.

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