Here’s a secret: If you really want to get to know the ins-and-outs of a small town community, make an effort to show up at those small town events.
In this small community of Shelter Island, one of the longest running and most beloved annual fall traditions is coming up on Saturday, October 8 at the Pridwin Hotel — the Lions Club Annual Scallop Dinner.
This year marks the 61st year for the dinner and since its inception more than six decades ago, the event has not only been about satisfying the autumnal cravings of scallop lovers, but also raising money for a variety of good causes around the Island.
And when it comes to small towns, what’s more important than helping the community?
In the early years, funds from the scallop dinner were used to build the Red Cross building. More recently, money raised has gone toward the construction of a kitchen at the Senior Citizens Center as well as playground improvements at the local Tot Lot.
In 2015, dinner proceeds went to the Shelter Island Preschool to expand its ability to assist all youngsters on the Island.
Rich Tarpinian, president-elect of the Shelter Island Lions Club, has been coordinator of the scallop dinner for six years. He’s hopes lots of people turn out to support this year’s event and he also encourages residents who want to really get to know the community to get involved by becoming Lions themselves.
“I used to travel a lot for my work in sales and never belonged to anything till I moved out here,” Mr. Tarpinian said earlier this week. “By joining the Lions Club, it was good because you’re really helping people.
“Nobody gets paid, it’s all volunteers,” he added. “If we collect $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, all that money goes entirely to help the residents of Shelter Island.
“That’s what I like about the Lions Club.”
The Shelter Island Lions Club 61st Annual Scallop Dinner is 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 8 at the Pridwin Hotel. Take-out is available. Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for ages 10 and under, available at the Library (631) 749-0042. For group purchase call Mr. Tarpinian at (516) 695-8591.
If you’d like to really get involved in Island life, consider becoming a member of the Shelter Island Lions Club by contactin Ian Weslek at (631) 377-2606.
They’d love to have you!