Nominate Southampton's Greatest Person of 2012

Who in eastern Southampton Town has made the biggest impact on the community?

As 2012 comes to a close, Southampton Patch is asking readers who they think are deserving of recognition for their accomplishments and good deeds this year and every year.

Based on nominations, Patch will gather a list of the Greatest People of 2012, then put it to a vote to determine the reader's choice for Greatest Person of 2012.

It's been a year full of both blessings and, unfortunately, hardships for Southampton, but during trying times is when a person's character and perseverance really shine through. Just recently, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, we've seen many examples of Southampton area residents stepping up to help their neighbors and victims farther afield.

You can nominate a Greatest Person by leaving a comment below or emailing brendan.j.oreilly@patch.com. Be sure to give the person's full name, and to explain why they are deserving of the recognition.

The most thoughtful and most popular nominations will be picked to be put up for the vote. If the person you were thinking of has already been nominated, feel free to second the nomination.

It could be a politician, a student, firefighter, EMT, organizer, etc. — whoever you think deserves it, just as long as they live, work or serve the community that encompasses Southampton Patch's coverage area: Southampton Village, Sag Harbor, Noyac, Sagaponack, Water Mill, Bridgehampton, Tuckahoe, North Sea and Shinnecock Hills.

We hope that be recognizing the best of Southampton, it will encourage others to act in a manner deserving of recognition.

Brendan Byrne - The East End Broker December 04, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I am throwing Edward Thompson of the Hampton Bays Fire Department into the pot. Although, he is one of many volunteer Fire Fighters from The East End to travel west to donate their time and money to the devastated areas of Super Storm Sandy. I saw fire trucks and personell from Hampton Bays and Southampton as well as many other east end departments as far as Long Beach, NY. There are literally hundreds of these people throughout the community. However, I know Eddie Thompson personally. He is thoroughly involved with the schools, sports, charity, and general community. He is a distinguished life saver, father, husband, and gentlemen. He does not come with the popularity of an Alec Baldwin or Billy Joel, but our community operates with the likes of Eddie Thompson.
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 04, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Via email, Patch received a nomination for Arthur Anderson: "for all the photo he takes and comments. For us military families are away from where we grew up its nice to see some great pictures, he came to mind without even thinking."
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 04, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Via email, Patch received a nomination for Romi Sloan: "She is the owner of Gardens by Romi but that has nothing to do with why she is deserving of the recognition. Almost over night with one of her employees she formed the Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund. She went to Babylon to help a friend gut her house after Sandy and after seeing the destruction, they went to work. They have had crews from Mastic to Staten Island helping people rebuild. To begin to appreciate the scope of her charity you need to follow her face book page, Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund. This is an incredible effort."
K. December 04, 2012 at 06:41 PM
There is no way for me to come up with a single person. My vote would be for the local volunteer first responder, Fire People and Ambulance Corps. There were an immense amount of serious auto accidents this year.
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 05, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Via email, Patch received a nomination for Karen Connolly from the Southampton Chamber of Commerce. The nomination states: "Uniting Against Lung Cancer hosts Kites for a Cure to benefit lung cancer research every Memorial Day weekend on Coopers Beach. For the past two years we have been partnering with the Southampton Chamber of Commerce. Through Karen’s leadership and commitment to our cause we have been able to connect with so many businesses and individuals in the community. We are so proud of the robust list of small businesses that we now can count as partners in sponsorship and promotion. These relationships directly benefit our bottom line and help us fund more crucial lung cancer research. Karen and her staff have helped us to engage additional schools in kite decorating projects, allowing us to reach more families in the community. This event has become a “kick off” to the summer and we owe a debt of gratitude to Karen Connolly and the staff at the Southampton Chamber of Commerce for playing such a crucial role in our success."
Harold Wilson December 05, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Kristine Raab week after week going to Long Beach, Breezy point, organizing clothes here, organizing clean up up west. a lot of time spent under the radar... Kudos...
Mark Saladino December 07, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Hi Brendan, I second your nomination for Romi Sloan. She is incredible and has helped so many people. Please go to facebook and support her.
Leslie Handley-White December 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I also nominate Romi Sloan. She has an enormous heart for both people and animals. She gives with love and compassion. Her Hampton's Hurricane Relief Fund, is a fantastic way to help those effected by hurricane Sandy and the aftermath. Please check out Hampton's Hurricane Relief Fund on facebook to see all that she is doing.
Robert I Ross December 08, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I nominate Robert S. Chaloner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southampton Hospital for his many accomplishments including the stabilization and the incredible improvements to the Hospital over the last six years that he has been at the helm. His vision to foster a new partnership and collaboration with Stony Brook University and build a brand new 21-century medical center at the Stony Brook Southampton Campus will be an enormous and life changing benefit for all of the residents and visitors to Southampton and East Hampton Towns for years and years to come.
Diane Roper O'Brien December 09, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I would like to nominate Kym Smith, co-founder of The Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund. After seeing the tragedy and devastation left in Sandy's wake, she and her colleague have worked tirelessly and almost around the clock for the passed 6 weeks. What she has accomplished in this short time is no less than mind boggling. She has raised donations and solicited contributions enough to fill truck after truck, day after day, and drive back and forth to the worst hit areas giving out food, warm clothes, cleaning supplies, heaters, construction material and on and on. Kym has also targeted several seniors left homeless and several families in great need and has put together work crews of plumbers, carpenters and electricians etc...often tearing out walls with her own hands and the help of her own husband and son, to bring their nightmare to an end. Seeing a 90+ year old man be able to go back home for Christmas is all she wants but her commitment and devotion have already made her my person of the year!
lisa ludwig December 10, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Romi Sloan that created The Hamptons Hurricane Relief fund is certainly someone that should be considered Person of the Year. After she came to help me with my disaster she saw the need of so many and hasn't stopped helping since. She has traveled from Staten Island to all corners of Long Island helping. A 92 yr old man in my community will be living in a dry and mold free home soon thanks to Romi and her volunteers with the help and funds from those that donate. Her energy and endless hours of coordinating who needs the most help is unending. Romi is an angel sent from above and so many have benefited from her help and will continue to help. She is coordinating a list of children that need a little holiday cheer from Santa in the way of gifts that have lost so much from Sandy. And her list of things to do goes on and on.
Lisa Votino-Tarrant December 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Hands down Romi Sloan (and Kym O'Brien Smyth)! People have seen in recent weeks a public side to Romi, but the truth is that she is always doing what she can for people and animals behind the scenes all the time. I know as an organizer, that it's people like Romi that makes the world go round and become a better place :)
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Via email, Patch received another nomination for Romi Sloan: "I am nominating Romi Sloan of Southampton, who less than a week after Hurricane Sandy, while visiting a friend who had lost her home from the hurricane, started the Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund and using her own trucks and cars along with Kym Smith has been going into the stricken areas 3-4 times a week with loads of supplies for all ages and situations. She has reached out through social media and networking to engage many organizations and individuals in helping her in her cause. She and the crews that she has organized have gutted houses and started the process of rebuilding people's homes and lives by taking in foodstuff (much of which she has purchased and cooked herself), household items, and supplies of all kinds-- Only one of the recipients of her tenacity to help is a 92 year old man living by himself with his dog as his companion-the house is now well on the way to allowing this gentleman (Fred) to return to his home." Continued...
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Part II: "This past week she also organized a birthday party for a five year old who a few days before didn't know if there would ever be another birthday party. Romi, who also owns Gardens by Romi in Southampton has been an advocate of taking care of people as well as animals that need help since she was in her teens-when she sets her mind to take care of a situation, no matter what it is-she goes about it and most often succeeds far beyond what most people could do or even want to do. She is completely committed to helping out all she can that were was damaged by Hurricane Sandy and has a wide range of contractors and volunteers that are working with her organization to help not just in the rebuilding of f western Long Island but in the rebuilding of the lives of those living there. Check out the website Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund on Facebook to see some of her work. For these reasons and many more unnamed, I nominate Romi Sloan for this prestigious award."
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Patch received a nomination via email for Kym Smith: "Since Hurricane Sandy devastated areas of Long Island, I have seen many efforts to aid the victims but none have impressed me more than those of Kym Smith. A busy mother of three, Kym has sprung into action as co-founder of The Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund, stocking stores with donation jars and drop boxes, soliciting donations from businesses big and small and collecting items from individuals no matter what time or how far she must go to get them. Truckload after truckload have been driven, often by herself, to areas of Staten Island, Babylon and the south shore most effected, delivering everything imaginable needed by people whose homes have been ravaged and destroyed....helping them to survive. Then, she has managed to put together crews to help rebuild their homes....so they can not only survive but begin again. Her efforts are time consuming and exhausting, often done with family in tow, but relentless and successful. She has touched so many lives that have been shattered by losing their homes and all their belongings, people who saw no light at the end of the tunnel....til The Hampton's Hurricane Relief Fund showed up at their door."
Kim Spinella December 10, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I also nominate Romi Sloan. She is truly an amazing women and has done so much for my community as well as many others with her Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund. She is not only helping us but our children too, becuase of her many will have a brighter holiday this year after losing so much! I don't know anyone more deserving then her. She is truly an ispiration!
Linda Bolton Yurkerwich December 11, 2012 at 02:11 AM
I also nominate Romi Sloan. She has an incredible heart and a wonderful person. Her and her team of angels (Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund) have helped my community as well as many other communities effected by Sandy, by bringing food.. donations.. gutting homes and helping rebuild them. Now that the Holidays are here, Romi has been organizing to help the children that have lost their belongings. She truly deserves to be the Greatest Person of 2012!!!
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Via email, Patch received a nomination for Kym Smith: "Although i only know Kym as a young local, her work amazes me! These last six weeks we have crossed paths many times, she has been sick often, telling me it is from the conditions in the areas where she has been working. I tell her to take it easy, take a break and her reply is simply "when it's over, when everyone is home again". Shes unstoppable! I know that Kym has children of her own, who must miss her greatly while she is gone, but what a wonderful story they have to share about their mom. Teaching her children about selflessness and treating others with love and respect is amazing!"
Oliver Peterson December 11, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I nominate Brendan J O'Rielly. :-)
Michele Dunkirk December 12, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I also would like to nominate Romi Sloan and Kim O'Brien Smith....they have gone above and beyond what most of us think of when we think we do a good deed to help in a disaster.The Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund just keeps on giving. Romi and Kim have been able to make miracles happen for alot of storm victims.I give them both a huge standing ovation...you guys ROCK. Thank You Both.
marybeth December 12, 2012 at 03:41 AM
I would like to nominate Romi Sloan and Kym O'Brien Smith.....the work they are doing with their organization Hapmtons Hurricane Relief Fund is amazing. Not only are they getting people to donate to those in need they are also spending their time picking up the items and delivering them. They have been helping an elderly man on my block and the 2 of them did the rip out of the house themselves. They also organized a group of volunteers to put up new sheet rock,spackle and also put new electric in. And if they don't do enough their they make sure each time they visit he has a hot meal for the day. They are truly amazing woman and they deserve the recognition for all that they are doing.
Cheri Cullam December 12, 2012 at 04:21 AM
There are two South Hampton residents whom deserve the candidacy of person of the year for there immense out reach to residents that have been effected by Hurricane Sandy there endless help there intense hours of labor not only cleaning and restoring affected homes but also outreach and dedication for helping anyone in need these two people who once strangers who now I consider friends are Romi Sloan and Kym Smith
Robert I Ross December 12, 2012 at 07:47 PM
When and how does the voting take place?
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Patch received a nomination via email for Tramar Pettaway: "We, The Hamptons Foundation For The Arts, believes Tramar Pettaway should get the recognition for the Greatest Person for 2012. He is involved in many community events including Relay For Life, Ellen's Run, Christopher's Run. He produced his first production ever "The Wiz" which was a huge success. He also is a student at Suffolk County Community College who is studying Early Childhood Education. He is the founder of the Hamptons Foundation For The Arts. He is also volunteering his time and co-starring in The Nutcracker (Mixed Nuts) as Drosselmeyer (Claire & Blair's Uncle) . He dips into the ocean for the annual Polar Bear Plunge every year. He is a community person all around and loves helping others."
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Patch received a nomination via email for Dede Gotthelf: "We’d like to nominate Dede Gotthelf, CEO & Managing Partner of Southampton Inn, for Southampton’s Greatest Person of 2012. In addition to her efforts to accommodate victims of Hurricane Sandy and the various groups working to aid them, Dede and Southampton Inn have been integral parts of the community. This past year, Dede was named CFO of the Year in the category for private companies with annual revenues under $50 million by Long Island Business News, in large part, because of her involvement in the community. Dede is dedicated to the success of fellow local businesses; in order to bring visitors to Southampton during the shoulder and winter months, Gotthelf founded “It Takes a Village,” which develops strategic alliances across a variety of local businesses, including retailers, restaurants and realtors, to collectively increase off-season travel to Southampton."
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Another nomination email was received: "Romi Sloan and Kym from Southampton and East Quogue have started The Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund . These two selfless women with the help of volunteers and donations from unbelievable sources..are out there helping homeowners who have been displaced due to Sandy from Staten Island to Center Moriches and anywhere there is a cry for help.hey are providing food advice shelter and construction services and whatever is needed of them.It seems to me there is nothing they will not tackle. They are amazing and deserve to be recognized for the work they are doing giving of themselves .They saw a need and got right to it.."
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 05:20 AM
I think we will begin the voting process after Christmas.
Linda Melnick Usher December 13, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Yet another nomination for Romi Sloan. I 've known her for many, many years and she just keeps getting more and more socially responsible. From starting Hamptons Hurricane Relief Fund to fostering animals, she selflessly gives of her time; the world is better for her and she deserves recognition. Linda Melnick Usher,NYC
Moira Sabo December 14, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Hi Brian, I would like to nominate Romi Sloan for Southhampton person of the year!!! She has spearheaded the Hurricane Relief Fund and never stops helping others. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 Romi put aside everything to help. I came home at Christmas to find my entire house decorated for Christmas! Being so sick after a chemo treatment I came home to find my house beautifully decorated for the the Christmas holidays!!! I can't put into words how special and how loved I felt!! That is exactly what Romi is doing with her Hurricane Relief Fund!! You couldn't have a better person as Southampton Person of the Year!! Thank you, Moira Sabo 516 680 5359 Please call me so I can elaborate more on why she should be person of the year!
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) December 31, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Voting is now open! Go here to vote in Patch's poll: http://southampton.patch.com/articles/readers-choice-southampton-s-greatest-person-of-2012


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