LONG ISLAND, NY – On July 18, 2015 The Shelter Island Historical Society hosted The Black and White Gala. The Historical Society’s signature fund raising summer event is an opportunity to support the Society while enjoying great live music, food (including a raw bar), a complimentary photo of each guest and a silent auction. Supporters gathered together wearing their favorite summer black and white ensembles to enjoy an elegant evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing.
I sat down in an intimate interview with their President Elizabeth Pedersen and her husband Bill Pedersen.
President Elizabeth Pedersen and her husband Bill Pedersen with Cognac Wellerlane at Shelter Island Historical Society’s signature fund raising summer event on July 18, 2015.
Welcome back darlings. I am Cognac Wellerlane and I am here at the Shelter Island Historical Society’s Black and White Gala and I am here with the president and her husband. Introduce yourself to the camera.
Elizabeth: Hi, I am Elizabeth Pedersen and I would like you to meet my wonderful husband, Bill.
Bill: Hello, I am Bill Pedersen and I am the husband of the President of the Shelter Island Historical Society.
And he has gotten involved because you made him get involved, I am sure!
Elizabeth: I think he is a willing partner in almost everything in my life. I have been very fortunate and when it came up in a topic he said “He would help me” and that is what he has done for last three years on this project.
Tell my audience a little bit about the history of the Shelter Island Historical Society.
Elizabeth: Well it is ninety years old and it has had its ups and downs and right now we are on a big lift because we are in campaign mode to create a new aspect which will modernize this facility and make it twenty first century, something we can be proud of, along with our fabulous history that we need to take care of.
How old is Shelter Island?
Elizabeth: Well that is something that we could leave to others but it is over four hundred years old.
Why is Shelter Island such a unique place?
Elizabeth: It’s surrounded by water and the South Fork and we have the beautiful North Fork….and people come from both forks to see us and be part of what is going on here which is pretty incredible.
Tell me something incredible about Shelter Island. What makes it so special?
Elizabeth: Well, I think there is a chance for privacy and at the same time a lot of community activity especially at the Shelter Island Historical Society right now. So it gives us a sense of home participation and planning for the future and the future generations who will want to be here knowing much more about the past.
How much of the proceeds go toward re-establishing the Shelter Island Historical Museum?
Elizabeth: The funds from tonight will be for keeping the lights on and keeping us going for the next year. We work on a very tight budget and so it will be tonight that finances the backup so to speak.
What made you get involved in this?
Elizabeth: That’s a really good question! I have a friend and you now friends are terrific and they ask you come along on a venture. A past president of the Historical Society said “Why don’t you run, I think you have something to offer this group.” and I felt very welcomed and somehow I felt at home. I have been working for about seven years here as a volunteer.
You started out as a volunteer?
Elizabeth: I worked my way up to President
Elizabeth and her husband went on to explain the importance of the history of Shelter Island not only to Long Island but to the country as well.
Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews President Elizabeth Pedersen and her husband Bill Pedersen and Artist Roz Dimon at the Shelter Island Historical Society’s Black and White Gala on July 18, 2015.
The mission of the Shelter Island Historical Society is to research, preserve and share their heritage and island history through education, exhibition, scholarship and community activities. They interpret Shelter Island’s past and on-going life through preservation of historical material from the first inhabitants, settlers and town fathers, to those who have made it a caring and unique community through the years. They strive to preserve the island’s heritage for future generations.
For more information please visit http://www.shelterislandhistorical.org