A Mermaids and Pirates Breakfast to Fund Maritime Education


He is known as Pauly the Man, the Unofficial Mayor of the North Fork, a three-point specialist on his basketball team and the assistant manager at Front Street Station restaurant in Greenport on Monday nights. And now, Paul Drum, 29, is also known as a philanthropist who is taking on a couple of new titles and presiding over a very special breakfast for sea-loving families at this weekend’s Maritime Festival in Greenport. The breakfast will benefit the brand new Paul Drum Nautical Education Program of the East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation.

Drum, who many North Forkers may also know for his eight years as doorman at DoLittle’s pub in Mattituck, will become Greenport Mayor for a Day at Friday night’s Maritime Festival Gala. And on Sunday, September 21, he will become Pirate Paul at a FUN-raiser breakfast for mermaids and pirates (and their parents) to kick off the museum’s new program.

It all started when Keturah Hurst, special events coordinator for the Maritime Festival, met Drum at a chowder contest in which Front Street Station, owned by Drum’s mother and grandfather, was participating. Drum, who has Down syndrome, was so enthusiastic and excited that he and Hurst became instant friends. When Drum told her that his work at Front Street is what makes him feel “purposeful” and happy, it sparked an idea.

“He wanted to do his own fundraiser,” says Hurst. Foundation board member Arlene Klein took up the idea with gusto, and then another board member, Ron Brewer, suggested they take it a step further. “He said, ‘Let’s make it a long-term relationship,'” says Hurst. “We wanted him to have a more permanent relationship with the museum. And it just snowballed.”

So the Paul Drum Nautical Education Program was born. It will offer educational programs for local youth and Paul (with help from his family) will be holding more FUN-raisers to support it. He has proved an able mover-and-shaker so far. His program — and his affinity for basketball — has caught the attention of his beloved New York Knicks who sent over T-shirts (the first 40 ticket buyers will get a shirt) and pledged more support in the future.

“He’s really excited,” says Drum’s mom, Sharon Sailor. “He’s very into it and his enthusiasm is infectious. He’s a star and he loves the attention.”

On the menu for Sunday morning is a classic breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, yogurt and fresh fruit and juices served buffet style for parents and kids. There will be nautical characters, stories, loads of treasures to take home and lots of fun for participants, including a chance to trade fish tales with Pirate Pauly.

Tickets for kids under 12 are $12.50 and for those 12 and over are $17.50. The first seating is at 8:30 a.m. and the second at 9:30. Front Street Station is at 212 Front Street, Greenport. For more information and to order tickets, visit the Paul Drum Nautical Education Program website or e-mail maritimefestival2014@gmail.com or call Keturah Hurst at 631-477-2100 ext. 2. Longisland.com is a sponsor of this event.

Natalia de Cuba Romero is a frequent contributor to Edible Long Island and Edible East End. She shares easy seasonal recipes with a focus on Latin flavors at her blog Hot, Cheap & Easy.