Myron Levine of Sag Harbor had a vision to increase cash flow to charities here, and minutes before the announcement of the launching of All for the East End, the organization through which he aims to achieve it, he said he was “encouraged by the excitement already.”
Through “creativity, collaboration, and commitment,” a group of professionals has dreamed up a plan to raise awareness of nonprofits across the North and South Forks, and it will begin with a mega concert on Aug. 19 next year at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead, where a press conference was held on Friday.
Mr. Levine said the East End is more “Mayberry” than “glitz and glamour,” and that its residents come together to support others, as he saw firsthand after his son, Joshua, was killed in a tractor accident at Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett in 2010. With the economy as bad as it is, he said, charities suffer, and he is hoping the organization, of which he is founder and president, will become a model for other communities that are also taking a blow.
Jim Durning has been brought on board as digital media director to ensure a profitable show. “I sell tickets and T-shirts,” he said at the press conference, but Peter Herman of Nile Rodgers Productions, which is producing the event, clarified that the modest Mr. Durning had just recently worked on Roger Waters’s “The Wall” tour, one of the highest grossing tours in the world over the last two years. Mr. Durning is also a consultant on the digital and social media presence of Pink Floyd, Elton John, James Taylor, and others in the music industry.
His family settled here the 1930s, Mr. Durning said in a conversation later, and his grandfather once ran the Bulova watchcase factory in Sag Harbor. He has been a resident since childhood, and now lives in Southampton Village and New York City.
“The odds of success are through the roof,” said Mr. Herman, who will work with Mr. Durning to plan and produce the event.
Kelly Connaughton, All for the East End’s executive director and the woman behind last weekend’s Sag Harbor American Music Festival, said the advisory group had been in the works for a year and a half. Now it has joined with the Long Island Community Foundation, which will manage the grant process and disbursement of money to nonprofits throughout the five East End towns — East Hampton, Southampton, Riverhead, Southold, and Shelter Island — where more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations are registered.
Many people were acknowledged for being instrumental to All for the East End’s start, including Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who facilitated its incorporation, and John Landes, an owner of Bay Burger in Sag Harbor, who lined up the nonprofit status.
The East End Arts Council secured the donation of the venue. The large vineyard, on the North Fork but within Riverhead Town, is owned by Robert Entenmann of the baked goods family and named for his mother, Martha Clara. The vineyard and its associated structures can accommodate up to 10,000 guests, and it fulfills all of the requirements for a rain-or-shine event.
“We’re feeling very supported today,” said Ms. Connaughton, who has over 16 years’ experience with not-for-profit organizations. The more sponsors, she said, the more successful the event will be.
Becoming a presenting sponsor was a “no-brainer,” said Kevin O’Connor, the president of Bridgehampton National Bank.
The goal, said Claudia Pilato, who works for the bank and is the secretary of All for the East End’s board, is to raise $500,000 to $600,000 in the first year. Expenditures will be “extremely transparent,” she said, and charitable categories will be decided each year, depending on specific needs that may arise.
The full-day event will provide something for everyone, with family-friendly entertainment earlier in the day, a D.J. for teenagers in the afternoon, and a main event said to include “big names,” though specifics won’t be released until the spring.