Since I was quite young I've spent one day every July volunteering at the LVIS (Ladies Village Improvement Society) Fair. In my early years I did things like hooking small gifts onto the ends of fishing poles that small children put over a wall for a prize, or serving soda at the food booth. Over time I've baked dozens of cakes for the cake booth and helped take tons of money in at the children's area, but in these past fifteen glorious years I've been lucky enough to be counting money - upstairs, sitting in a chair, in an air conditioned room! The very best job of all.
I love the LVIS - it's one of the best institutions we have here in East Hampton. But many people are surprised to hear that I've never joined. So here's why: Back in 1985, after my fourth child was born and I'd been home (pretty much exclusively except for some part-time jobs) raising my children for ten years, I decided it was time to get out of the house and began to explore the idea of volunteering with a local non-profit, where I could decide my own hours and level of commitment. The LVIS was a strong contender and at the end of my thought process it was down to two: the LVIS and the East Hampton Historical Society. Both institutions were more than worthy, but I'm the type of person who throws myself into all projects with abandon and I knew I couldn't find time to do both. So it was that I decided the Historical Society needed me the most. It wasn't as glamorous or "high profile" as the LVIS and there was no waiting list to join. I didn't need a sponsor and I didn't need to "prove myself" to get voted in. All I needed to do was walk in the door and they welcomed me with open arms. Thus began my long association with them that continues to this day. I've never regretted that decision and enjoy working with both the men and women on that board and staff. I love the history of East Hampton and being immersed in it from time to time is a great way to expend my volunteer energy.
But - the LVIS still has a place in my heart. So last Saturday I was up in that room counting money with the rest of the volunteers, happily giving my time to a worthy group of ladies and contributing to their causes. My hat is off to all of them!