On Saturday, September 7, the Southampton Animal Shelter will celebrate a decade of its annual Boardy Barn benefit from 6 to 10 PM in Hampton Bays. Given the scene at Boardy Barn on a summer Sunday — lines that last for hours, smiley face stickers, and beer spilling — it may be surprising that the event was actually started by a group of roughly 10 women in their 70s.
Susan Kinscherf is one of those core women who has run the benefit since its inception. “When I retired from teaching, I wanted to give back to the community in some way. I started going over to the shelter and I met Susan Allen, a great benefactor for the shelter,” she said.
She soon pitched the idea of a benefit for the animal shelter to Boardy Barn owners Tony Galgano and Michael “Mickey” Shields. It was immediately picked up, and Galgano and Shields provided the space free of charge. Other volunteers got together in making the fundraiser a success. In its inaugural year, only 300 people were expected, but 700 people attended. In the time since, the event has been held on the Saturday after Labor Day, with more than 500 people at every event.
“This is for the locals. It’s a local party that supports the shelter,” Kinscherf said. In addition to a buffet dinner and cash bar, the event will have close to 200 items in a Chinese auction, silent auction, and door prizes. There will also be a 50-50 raffle. Weeks before the event the women have already raised over $20,000 in sponsorships, a true testament to their connection to the community.
However, the women are ready to pass the torch to new organizers of the event. “The vision is to continue to be a wonderful benefit. We all loved it, but it’s time for other people, possible younger, to step in and take over,” said Kinscherf.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Live music will be by Second Shift. Dog and cat supplies are encouraged for the shelter food pantry. Visit www.southamptonanimalshelter.com or call 631-728-PETS.