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Oyster Madness Benefits Sheffield Island Programs

Support education programs at Norwalk's historic gem

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Norwalk, CT | Added on March 04, 2015 At 02:00 PM

Chefs at a South Norwalk restaurant joined local oystermen to shuck their way to better education.

The Spread hosted an evening of Oyster Madness on Tuesday to raise money for the Sheffield Island Lighthouse Education Program.  

"This is our first fundraiser in house," said Chris Hickey, owner of The Spread. "We've done things for local farms before and been involved in local fundraisers but this is the first in-house fundraiser that we've done." 

From poached, grilled to raw oysters at the cash-only shucking bar, all who joined had the chance to donated directly to preserving a bit of Norwalk's history through education. 

"We bring over 500 kids every year out to the lighthouse and teach them about the history, the environment and the shellfish in oystering industry," said Peter Bondi Chairman of the Sheffield Island Lighthouse. "They're fourth and fifth graders."  

The Sheffield Island Lighthouse is maintained under the Norwalk Seaport Association. From the end of May to the end of September the association runs a 49 passenger ferry boat service to Sheffield Island for tourism and educational purposes. One hundred percent of all proceeds from the shucking bar, provided by Copps Island Oysters went directly to program. 

"We donated all of the oysters, there may be a couple thousand here for this event," said JP Vellotti of Norm Bloom & Son Copps Island Oysters.  

The Spread also donated a portion of all evening food sales. Those who attended were able to try oysters prepared in fourteen different ways 

"The buzz that's been created around this and the positive reaction that we've gotten even before having it play out throughout the course of tonight has been excellent," said Hickey.

"Overall we bring about 5,000 people out to the island every year to see not only our lighthouse, but our nature trail as well, which is run by Fish and Wildlife Service," said Bondi. 


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