Safety Measures Boosted with Community Generosity


Southold Historical Museum was recently reviewing its emergency plan.  During one of the meetings of the Museum’s policy committee, the question came up about the need for Automated External Defibrillators (AED).  Though not public buildings, the Museum felt it would be helpful to have these life-saving devices on hand.  However, with three locations, the Prince Building, the Maple Lane Complex, and the Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse, the purchase of AEDS would be costly.  The generosity of community members came to the rescue.

The Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation has been a supporter of Southold Historical Museum for years, thus the Museum’s Executive Director, Deanna Witte-Walker, decided to pen a letter asking if the Foundation might consider making a donation to fund the purchase of the three AED machines.  The Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation responded with a check for $4500 and a note saying “Glad we can help.  Keep up the good work.  History is important.”  Though no recognition for this meaningful and important gift was expected, the Museum felt this was a good deed worth sharing.


Witte-Walker stated, “Having AEDs at our locations was important to the Board of Trustees, but our budget is very tight.  Because of this generous donation from the Reichert Family Foundation, we did not have to take away from one activity to fund the AEDS.  The Foundation made it easy to purchase these devices that can become very important during an emergency.” 


Furthermore, the Museum consulted local Southold Fire Department volunteer, Chris Manfredi, who not only shared his knowledge of AEDs, he offered to do a training for volunteers and staff.  On November 10, the group gathered at the Southold Recreation Department to learn from Manfredi who presented the training through the Southold Fire Department Training Center.  Many who attended the training expressed gratitude and said they felt less nervous about use of AEDs and hands-off CPR (which was also covered), should the need arise.

As a private non-profit, it can sometimes be difficult to secure all that is needed to operate smoothly.  The kindness of both the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation and Chris Manfredi through the Southold Fire Department Training Center has allowed Southold Historical Museum to acquire these desired safety devices.


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please call 631.765.5500 or email



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