The Caumsett Foundation

Dedicated To The Preservation Of Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve

2006: Caumsett On The Half Shell










‘Caumsett on the Half Shell’ Exceeds Expectations

From left:  Carol Swiggett, Honorary Chairperson and a founder of the Caumsett Foundation, Lynn Gundersen, former Foundation Chairperson, and Bernadette Castro, former Commissioner, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, welcome guests to the “Caumsett on the Half Shell” benefit.  The Foundation extends its appreciation to Mrs. Castro for being a champion of preservation and an energetic Foundation supporter who nurtured and solidified our successful partnership with the state.


Over 500 guests at the Caumsett Foundation’s 9th annual benefit entered a magical “under the sea” party tent filled with giant mermaids, playful sea horses, and colorful fish, shells and starfish on September 16.  Nestled at the edge of the freshwater pond on the former Marshall Field III estate, the event, with its theme, “Caumsett on the Half Shell,” raised a record amount of almost $250,000 for the park. 

                 “Our annual benefit has earned a reputation of being a unique and lively party with a creative theme and we are grateful to our guests who came out in droves to support the salt marshes and miles of pristine beaches that comprise one of the park’s five natural habitats,” observed Lynn Gundersen, former Foundation chairperson.  Jackie Libretti and Lisa Kasper, event co-chairs for the second year in a row, started working with their dedicated benefit committee in late 2005.  “We had such a great theme to inspire the decorations, food and music,” observed Mrs. Kasper.  “Among the guests,  who were asked to dress ‘to make a splash,’ we were happy to spot a snorkeler in a wet suit and a gentleman in lobster-print swim trunks--with jacket and tie, of course,” noted Mrs. Libretti. 

         The silent auction of original works of local artists attracted a steady stream of bidders.  For the live auction, N. J. Burkett, Eyewitness News correspondent, warmed up the crowd with some jokes.  Auctioneer Randy Koster urged guests to support the park with their bids on a variety of gift packages. We hope everyone will return for next year’s event—“Horsing Around,” to be held near the polo stable on September 29.






























2006:  Easter Egg Hunt













2005: Into The Caumsett Woods

The sun rose over Lloyd Harbor on a "picture perfect" day in September for the
Caumsett Foundation's annual benefit in support of Caumsett State Historic Park.
  More than 800 guest would gather in a tent near the main house for an evening under the stars.

Performance In The Garden:  The Sound Of Music

On a beautiful Saturday evening in June, The Caumsett Foundation was proud to co-sponsor a live theatrical production in the Caumsett State Historic Park's walled garden.  Almost 200 people enjoyed Plaza Theatrical Productions' performance; The Sound Of Music

Performance In The Garden:  The L.I. Shakespeare Festival
On a cool Sunday evening in July, more than one hundred and fifty people filled the walled garden to watch a presentation of "Twelfth Night", a play by William Shakespeare presented by members of The L.I. Shakespeare Festival.


2004: Barn Again!
A celebration of the newly renovated dairy complex.

The Caumsett Foundation wishes to thank The Oyster Bay Guardian for allowing the reprint of the following article.
Written by
Kate Marshall, it appeared in the October 8, 2004 edition.

Hanging from the old barn ceiling were two huge chandeliers, where lights poked out of milk containers and brightly painted roosters perched. A galaxy of silver stars - in the midst of which a cow jumped over the moon - filled the dome of an enormous tent. Figures of cows, pigs and chickens - large as life - mingled with guests amid shrubbery covered in berries and blossoms.  From the flatbed of a tractor-drawn trailer, The Joe Holms Band played hoedown and other toe-tapping tunes. These were just a few of the highlights of the Caumsett Foundation’s “Barn Again!” benefit held in the hay barn at Caumsett State Historic Park in Lloyd Neck last Saturday evening, October 2nd.

The Caumsett Foundation’s 7th annual benefit was held to support restoration of the historic dairy barn complex built in 1922 by Marshall Field III on his estate in Lloyd Neck. In 1961, New York State acquired 1500 acres of the property and the happy result is Caumsett State Historic Park administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation under the guidance of Commissioner Bernadette Castro.

The park offers miles of bridle paths, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and nature trails over acres of woodland, meadows, rock shoreline and salt marsh. The old calf barn of the dairy complex is home to the Volunteers for Wildlife Hospital and Education Center.

Since its formation nine years ago, the Caumsett Foundation has raised over a million dollars for restoration, education and preservation at Caumsett Park. The current restoration of the dairy bar complex is a multi-phase project that will eventually provide a Visitor/Environmental Center. The Foundation’s other contributions include renovation of the walled garden. This four acre former vegetable garden is now home to Caumsett Park’s summer cultural arts series.

The evening’s honoree was Commissioner Bernadette Castro, who was also the hard-working auctioneer. She was introduced by Caumsett Foundation President Lynn Gundersen who said, “Tonight we honor Commissioner Castro for an incredible career and as a champion of conservation, preservation and the New York State parks system. All you have to do is look outside to see firsthand what the parks system has done. Without Bernadette and Carol Swiggett, our founding chairman, the Foundation would not have been formed; without them and the fantastic park managers, Caumsett Park would not be what it is today.

The exterior restoration of these beautiful and historically significant dairy barns and the walled garden across the way are the result of this very successful partnership.” Gundersen continued, “While we honor Commissioner Castro, the Caumsett Foundation also salutes you, our volunteers and financial supporters. It is through your contributions that the partnership is getting things done. Congratulations!”





Back To Speak Easy Days!

Text by: Stephanie Davy
As Reported In:  The Oyster Bay Guardian

     The Caumsett Foundation held its 6th annual benefit "Club Caumsett - A 1920's Speak Easy" on Saturday October 4th.  Visitors entered a huge white tent on the former Gold Coast estate of Marshall Field III, which is now Caumsett State Historic Park in Huntington, where they enjoyed live music by the Joe Holmes Swing Band, food by Marian and Justin Spoto of the New Culinary Studio and live and silent auctions of over 100 original items by local artists and businesses.

     At the entrance to the main area, Bob Candido played a hurdy-gurdy while his tiny Capuchin monkey, Minnie Rosa, performed.  Visitors were charmed by the ambience of it all.  After two hours of eating, drinking, dancing and bidding on the silent auction, the live auction began.  The Honorable Bernadette Castro, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (a.k.a. "Auctioneer and Flapper of Great Renown), brought greetings from Governor George Pataki.

     "George and Libby Pataki are great believers in parks like Caumsett.  We are also very honored to have Marshall Field V and his family with us this evening," she said.  Castro thanked Lynn Gundersen, Chairman of the Caumsett Foundation, and said, "I salute the Caumsett Foundation and wish all of you every success in all that you do - today and for many years to come."  Castro started the auction with help from "The God Squad" - Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Tom Hartman.

     Nancy Gay and Gail Johnson co-chaired the event.  Gay said, "Thanks to a wonderful committee and Caumsett's Park Manager Lenny Krauss, we had a wonderful time putting this together.  The committee was awesome!"  Gina Jacobsen co-chaired the Refreshment Committee.  "I worked on food and beverages.  We had a wonderful committee," Jacobsen said, "All the committees really worked together.  Everyone would be amazed - it takes a very long time to get something like this ready."

Left: Event tent as seen from Main House.  Right: The Field family takes a tour of the barn renovations with park manager Lenny Krauss.










Left: Chairperson Lynn Gundersen and Mr. Field discuss the renovation of the dairy complex from inside the dry stock barn.
Right: Janet Barone (right) gave the family a tour of the polo stables. Mr. Field remarked that many people entering the Field property
thought the beautiful building was in fact the main mansion.


 Left: The Field family arrives at the main mansion house. It was the first time that Mr. Field had been at this spot in forty years.
Right: Peter Schmidt of Queens College led the family on an extensive tour of the mansion.

Left: The Field family on the roof of the Main House.  Right: Inside Club Caumsett

Left: Event chairpersons Nancy Gay (Left) and Gail Johnson.
Right: As chairperson Lynn Gunderson watches, Mr. Field shares some recollections with the benefit attendees.

Left: History Committee chairperson Dorothy Cappadona with some friends.  Right: Rabbi Gellman with Mrs. David Walsdorf.

Left: Mr. Thomas Calabrese with chairperson Lynn Gundersen.  Right: Janet Barone, Lynn Gundersen, Gail Johnson, Liz Piazza

Left: State Parks commissioner Bernadette Castro and The God Squad do their very best work as auctioneers!
Right: Msgr. Hartmann and Rabbi Gellman discuss the meaning of life.

NYS Parks commissioner Bernadette Castro and Caumsett Foundation chairperson Lynn Gundersen look for the winning bidder. 

2002 Benefit:  Circus Soiree

     A vast red and white striped tent filled with hundreds of balloons generated smiles and a sense of circus fun among the over 800 guests who attended the fifth annual benefit of the Caumsett Foundation, held September 28 in Lloyd Neck, NY. With the theme, "Circus Soiree 2002," the event was inspired by a party in 1932 hosted by Audrey and Marshall Field III at their former estate, which is now Caumsett State Historic Park. "We are privileged to have Louise and Marshall Field VI graciously serve as Honorary Chairpersons and we welcome the continuing interest of all Field family members in the Caumsett Foundation's preservation and archival efforts," stated Cold Spring Harbor resident Margie Howe, who chaired the Benefit Committee with Jane Greenleaf of Mill Neck.

     A special dressage demonstration performed in the walled garden by Bettina Field Drummond, granddaughter of Marshall and Ruth Field, preceded the event. Barbara Bliss, another Field descendant, contributed photos and a memoir entitled, "
A Grandchild Remembers Caumsett" In it she notes, "I am happy to know that an active group of private citizens has decided not to let this magnificent place disintegrate and has taken the initiative to restore it to its former glory.



  Bernadette Castro, New York State Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, donned a white, ruffled clown collar as she conducted an auction of works by local artists. "God Squad" member Rabbi Marc Gellman, who wore a flag-inspired top hat, assisted her. In all, over 125 pieces of artwork in a wide variety of media were available during both live and silent auctions. Over $180,000 was raised to fund on-going projects, such as the restoration of the walled garden and dairy barn complex.


In keeping with the circus theme, entertainment was provided by wandering magicians and circus performers, including stilt-walkers and jugglers. Guests could try their hand at plate spinning and balloon twisting while enjoying freshly made popcorn from an old-fashioned machine. Partygoers also had the opportunity, as did guests such as George Gershwin, Vincent Astor and Ogden Phipps at the original Field party, to pose for take-home photos behind cutout figures of brawny strongmen, agile bareback riders and daring trapeze artists.


 Past Events Review

We are pleased to present you with highlights of some Caumsett Foundation events.

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