It may have taken only an octet of arms to begin 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue, but that number has been multiplied many times over to produce the family agri-venture’s first event—a family-style feast to raise funds for the fight against A.L.S.—which will be held on Cox Lane this Columbus Day weekend.
The paterfamilias of 8 Hands Farm, Tom Geppel, said he and wife, Carol Festa, found kindred spirits in Gerry Hayden and Claudia Fleming of the North Fork Table & Inn after the culinary couple sought the local farmers out in search of meat from their herd of Icelandic sheep.
A shared passion for knowing one’s food by knowing one’s farmer became the basis for the friendship behind Geppel’s agreement to speed up the renovation of 8 Hands Farm and host the fund-raiser, which will include a dinner prepared by more than 10 of the East End’s finest chefs and an auction emceed by Tom Colicchio.
Hayden, who was diagnosed with A.L.S. last year, hopes the event will yield $75,000 to benefit national research of the disease, as well as patient care through the Greater New York chapter of the A.L.S. Association, including his own.
“It’s debilitating,” Geppel says of Lou Gehrig’s disease, which has been systematically robbing Hayden of his ability to do all he loves and does best in the kitchen.
The event, A Love Shared, will take place on Sunday, October 13. Tickets, of which only 200 are available, are $250 each.
If tickets are sold out, donations are are much appreciated so Hayden and company can reach their goal of raising $75,000. Donate here.