A celebration and ribbon cutting was held Thursday, June 14, at the Good Ground Park Playground in Hampton Bays, which was funded by a $50,000 donation by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
The public event — a combined gathering hosted by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, and Director of Parks & Recreation Kristen Doulos — was co-hosted by the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce, led by Dot Capuano.
Carl Benincasa, Regional Vice President of Sales, represented Douglas Elliman at the gathering, which brought out a number of the firm’s agents and employees, as well as a crowd of Hampton Bays residents, their children, and even a few pets.
During the reception, a performance of the National Anthem was given by 17-year-old Hampton Bays student Lindsay Dunn, and the Hampton Bays American Legion led the Pledge of Allegiance. Schneiderman, Benincasa, Zappone, Doulos, and Capuano all gave brief speeches about Good Ground Park, and then invited local children to participate in the ribbon cutting and to enjoy the new playground equipment.
“This park is an amazing place, it’s already become a community center,” said Schneiderman. “And of course playgrounds are not just the place to play and have fun, but also a place to make friends.”
In speaking about making friends, the supervisor referenced Benincasa, with whom he had worked with when Benincasa had been a Southampton town attorney.
“Douglas Elliman has decided to donate the money to build the new section of this playground right here. It was $50,000,” Schneiderman reported. “So the moral of the story is, making friends is a really important thing to do. In lots of ways,” he laughed.
“The support that our friends give us is critical. And that’s really the essence of this park too, to bring the community together, to understand we are one community, to support each other in every way that we can. And to have fun,” he added.
“This adds a lot of fun to Hampton Bays. Today, a special thanks goes to Douglas Elliman for this incredibly generous donation for the future of Hampton Bays, and our children. Thank you Carl, and thank you Douglas Elliman.”
“I knew how important this park was to this community from having worked on it with the Town, and when I got to Douglas Elliman,” responded Benincasa. “We were looking to give back to this community in a very tangible way. We thought this was an incredibly great way to do it. I am so thrilled to be here, to be with all of you and to be a part of this park and this playground. And I hope that families will enjoy it for years to come.”