Seatuck Kicks-off Founders Circle Campaign - Major Gift Announced
Seatuck commenced its first-ever major fundraising effort in late May with the kick-off of the Seatuck Founders Circle Campaign. The campaign, which endeavors to raise $1 million over the next five years, will allow Seatuck to undertake needed capacity-building and facility improvements - all designed to make the organization more sustainable in the long term. The campaign name honors Seatuck founders Charles and Natalie Webster, as well as Hathaway "Happy" Scully who preserved her family estate for conservation.
The endeavor got off to a spectacular start when John Mitchell, nephew of Seatuck founder, Charles Webster, announced his pledge of $250,000 as a lead gift to the campaign. The announcement was made to resounding applause at a cocktail party that Seatuck held at the Environmental Center to kick-off the campaign.
The cocktail party to kick-off the campaign was a superb event, with perfect late spring weather, fantastic food by Verace, desserts by Jacquline's Patisserie and live music by a local string quartet. The evening's program began with a special presentation to Elizabeth Cochrane and Dr. William Kraft, two former members of Seatuck's board who played central roles (over the course of nearly two decades!) in helping the organization get to where it is today. Cindy Mullin, Seatuck's Vice-President, presented Mrs. Cochrane and Dr. Kraft with certificates and special Seatuck pins in honor of their long volunteer service to the organization.
Seatuck's executive director Enrico Nardone then made a presentation in which he outlined the vision for Seatuck's future. He suggested that the organization had put important pieces in place over the past several years (opening the Environmental Center, becoming a respected voice for conservation, growing into an important environmental education provider) and was ready to go to the next level and become one of the leading conservation organizations on Long Island.
He detailed visions for Seatuck's increased conservation work and expanded educational efforts, as well as key improvements that were needed to the Scully Estate, including permanent boardwalks, an observation program and an Outdoor Exploratorium, to name a few. After laying out this vision, Mr. Nardone turned the program over to Seatuck's development director Stephanie DerGarabedian, who detailed the goals and structure of the Founders Circle Campaign.
Ms. DerGarabedian explained that interested parties could join the Founders Circle by making a five-year pledge, ranging in levels from $100 to $25,000 annually. She noted that donors at all levels will have the opportunity to have their names permanently associated with Seatuck through a Founders Circle plaque, and that other naming opportunities may be available at the Environmental Center Suffolk County's approval.
Ms. DerGarabedian then introduced John Mitchell, who brought the house down with his big announcement. Tom Moldolvan, President of Seatuck's Board, wrapped up the evening by telling the story of his passion for conservation and what motivated him to support Seatuck. He made an impassioned plea for everyone to get involved and join the Circle!