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David Page and Barbara Shinn at Shinn Estate Vineyard and Farmhouse in Mattituck. (Credit: Randee Daddona)
David Page and Barbara Shinn at Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse in Mattituck. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Long Island Sustainable Wine Growing members know that a bountiful harvest is about more than just collecting grapes from the vines. It’s about taking care of the people who do it, too.

That’s why the nonprofit is teaming up with the HRHCare Foundation to raise funds to help the wine region’s agricultural workers.

“Honoring the Hands: A Celebration of Long Island Agricultural Workers” will take place on Thursday, July 16 at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead. The event aims to raise $100,000 for the Agricultural Health Care Fund.

Shinn Estate Vineyards’ husband and wife team David Page and Barbara Shinn came up with the idea and soon other vineyards came on board.

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“Martha Clara is also a member of Long Island Sustainable Wine Growing and they donated the event space,” said Barbara Shinn.  “My husband and I are helping to coordinate it along with our friend Jonathan Russo, who lives on Shelter Island.”

HRHCare is a not-for-profit, New York State licensed, federally qualified health center. It delivers primary, preventative and oral healthcare to communities, regardless of one’s ability to pay. With an already strong presence in upstate New York and the Hudson Valley, HRHCare facilities are now coming to Long Island, with clinics now open in Bridgehampton and Greenport and another opening soon in Riverhead.

“They’re incredibly professional and compassionate,” said Shinn. “They center on agricultural workers, but they provide healthcare for whoever is underserved.”

The funds raised at Thursday’s event will help HRHCare and Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing host “A Day of Health Care” at Suffolk County farms to introduce agricultural workers to the centers. Beginning in September, each worker and their family can meet with a health care professional to address their needs.

Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing is a non-profit that was founded in 2012 by Shinn, Bedell Cellars winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich, Jim Thompson vineyard manager at Martha Clara Vineyards and Channing Daughters Winery CEO Larry Perrine.

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“What’s great about HRH is that they’ve been asked to take over all of Suffolk County, where we do have an agricultural workforce that is underserved in healthcare,” explained Shinn. “Part of Long Island Sustainable Growing’s mission is not only to steward our soils and grow wine sustainably and farm cleanly, but also to take care of the health and well-being of our field workers.”

The benefit “Honoring The Hands” takes place on Thursday, July 16 at Martha Clara Vineyards, located at 6025 Sound Avenue in Riverhead. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. There will be live music, a cocktail reception, a live and silent auction and wine identification contest.

For information about ticket prices and donations please visit www.marthaclaravineyards.com

For more information about HRHCare please visit www.hrhcare.org

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