Donald T. Sharkey

Memorial Community Fund

The Donald T. Sharkey Memorial Community Fund supports the local community by contributing the local fire departments, helping individuals pay medical bills, providing scholarship opportunities for local students, providing Summer camp for local children and supporting other local charities.

When Don Sharkey died in July 2009, a group of his friends joined together with the intent to spread good will in the community in his name.  The Donald T. Sharkey Memorial Community Fund, a registered 501(c)3 Non-profit Corporation, was formed and all donations and contributions have been used to support those in need in the community as well as to support efforts to which Don volunteered his own time. These included the East End Soldier Ride (which later became a part of the Wounded Warrior Project), the Amagansett, East Hampton, Springs, Montauk, Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton Fire Departments, East Hampton Boy Scout Troop #298, and Jordan’s Honor Fund.

Each year, the Fund awards a scholarship of $2,500 to a student committed to furthering their education who has demonstrated the ability and desire to improve the community in which we live. 

In 2012, through the generous contributions and volunteerism of many individuals, the Fund was able to send nine children to Summer camp and paid hospital bills for several community members.  It was especially poignant to us that when everyone’s good friend Carl “The Greek” Gust passed away, donations were made to the Fund in his memory.
To date, the Fund has distributed approximately $83,000 dollars. The philanthropic efforts of the Fund are supported by both donations and fundraising events such as the annual Mr. Amagansett Pageant and Donald T. Sharkey  Memorial Motorcycle Ride.  

Contributions outside of the annual fundraisers are always appreciated and are tax-deductible.  Our mailing address is:

PO BOX 697

We are always happy to answer any inquiries regarding the Fund.  Please e-mail us at, or contact Britton Bistrian at or Tina Piette at 631-267-2677 if you have any questions or would like to refer an individual for assistance. 

Check out our Facebook page for the latest on upcoming events and activities.

We thank you all for your continued and generous support.  We are honored to contribute to our community in honor of the legacy of a Great Man. Cheers!
The Donald T. Sharkey Memorial Community Fund Committee


Donald T. Sharkey

view slideshowIn the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln "in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Don's life may have not been lengthy in time, but it was overflowing in experiences, in love and in dedication to living each day to its fullest potential. Known for his honest judgment, his reliability and his dedication to the pursuits and people he held dear, Don was never a bystander. He lived his life in the center of everything whether it was the hot debate in the Town of East Hampton or the social gathering of the moment. His joie de vivre was boundless.

Born to Thomas and Lynn Sharkey on April 29, 1963, he was raised in Massapequa along with his brother Thomas who was three years his junior. He attended Berner High School and upon graduation was granted a full scholarship to New York Technical Institute for being a soccer prodigy where he majored in Architecture.

Although Don had no children of his own, he was "Uncle Donny" to his cherished nephew, Thomas. Don's eyes would light up when he spoke of Thomas and in addition he was an adopted uncle to many of his friend's children. He had a way of relating to children and they were enraptured by him. He always said he felt like a big kid at heart.

His ties to the Eastern End of Long Island began in his childhood when his "Uncle" John and "Aunt" Betty Neidzielski, who were lifetime friends of his mother and father, brought the Sharkey family to their home in Montauk. These trips made a lasting impression on Don and eventually were the reason for him laying his roots in East Hampton.

Don was the quintessential people person. Whether you were a long-standing friend or he just met you five minutes ago, he treated you with respect and care and probably had you leaving the exchange with a smile on your face. Some people collect stamps, Don collected friends. Friendship to him was a contract; there was nothing he would not do to help a friend. This giving nature was pervasive in every aspect of his being. He would not only give you the shirt off his back, he would also give you a Donny Hug to keep you warm in his shirt.

An avid reader and movie fanatic, Don was bit by the travelling bug after settling in to his Amagansett home. He had a thirst for new experiences and travel that would broaden his horizons. He touched people all over the world, as he did in his hometown. Whether he was lounging in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, hanging with Gibraltar monkeys with his dear friends in Spain or setting the golf course (or was it the 19th hole?) on fire in Ireland, Don was living every moment.

His career began as a carpenter but he soon realized that the social scene on which he thrived was to be found behind the restaurant bar. He was a hard worker and a charismatic barkeep who kept his patrons thirsting for more. Don blessed every local establishment with his presence including his first gig at the Port Royal to Wings Point, The Ballpark, Bostwicks and O'Mally's. He worked tirelessly in order to purchase and renovate his home all the while creating the image that work really was play to him. In his free time, in good weather (Don's fair Irish skin was all too fond of the sunburn) Don could be found at his home away from home on the South Fork Country Club course. There was always a standing invite to a game of golf to anyone whether you were a professional or were not certain if your swing was better as a lefty. Each Spring when the itch came along, Don would happily spend his afternoon surrounded by friends, the tee and perhaps a libation to protect from the heat.

It seemed as quickly as Don's talent was recognized as a building inspector for the Town of East Hampton, he elevated through the ranks until he was "The Chief." His job was often thankless and was not bound by 9 to 5 hours. Although Don did not have to entertain the constant barrage of building and zoning questions in his free time, he took everything in stride and gave everyone his fair hand at all times. He stood up for what was right and for those who were underrepresented as evenly as he did for those who were much more fortunate. Don had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and was a driven business man in his own right. He dreamed up and ran a successful home inspection business as well as becoming certified as a Private Investigator. He said he did it for the potential moniker on his business card: Sharkey, PI.

Don always said, "I will not stray far from this road" referring to Route 27 milestones which began in Amagansett East with his home, followed by his firehouse, a few of his favorite watering holes (Meeting House, McKendry's, Indian Wells Tavern, The Talkhouse, O'Mally's) and his Town office on the Western end of the four mile stretch.

A selfless individual, Don gave his time and energy to two organizations which he held dear, the Amagansett Fire Department and later, the Wounded Warrior Project. He was twice elected to be Captain of his firefighting Company #1 for his leadership and for his humble dedication to his fellow members. Always one to fill a void when recognized, Don often drove the ambulance when the need was there. After meeting a few soldiers who had recently returned from war overseas, Don was stunned by their optimism and ability to rise above physical and mental challenges. He recognized the need to help the Wounded Warrior Project and rallied his friends to join him in this endeavor.

videoDon loved ladies. He loved everything about them from their shoes on up. He loved his harem and he loved being considered one of the "Ladies who Lunch." For these lunches the four mile stretch of Route 27 extended all the way from Cyril's in Napeague to Rowdy Hall, Nichol's, World Pie and all the way to Bobby Van's in Bridgehampton. The fondness was a two way street, as Don was not only a dedicated friend and a confidant but also a tireless listener.

Don always said he joined the fire department to stir up a suitor with the statement "I am a fireman." I am not certain if he ever used that line, or if he ever needed to as he never had a problem attracting female admirers. Always quick with a compliment to put a spring in your step, Don will be remembered as the Original Mr. Amagansett.


Sharkey memorial fund makes donations

Organizers of the Donald T. Sharkey Memorial Community Fund have reported on the one-year anniversary of the East Hampton Town building inspector's death that they have raised about $15,000 so far and are starting to distribute those funds to the community.

Peter Honerkamp, the managing partner of the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, said the fund began shortly after Mr. Sharkey died on July 6, 2009, and money has been raised through personal donations and charitable events at the Talkhouse, including the inaugural Mr. Amagansett pageant, which was held last winter.

He said the beneficiaries will be individuals in need and community-minded projects, as well as many of the causes Mr. Sharkey was personally involved in, including the Wounded Warrior Project and the local fire departments.

The fund has already donated $2,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project, for which Mr. Sharkey actively fund-raised. Mr. Honerkamp said half of that amount was given to the project and the other half was donated directly to JoAnn Lyles, of Sag Harbor, the mother of Lance Corporal Jordan Christian Haerter, who was killed in action in Iraq.

On Tuesday night, each of the five East Hampton fire departments were given $500, said Tina Piette, an Amagansett attorney involved with the fund. Mr. Sharkey was also a member of the Amagansett Fire Department.

Ms. Piette said the group, started by friends of Mr. Sharkey, has a number of donations singled out that will be made in the coming months. The group has supported two local families in sending their children to the East Hampton RECenter, Ms. Piette said, and is in the middle of establishing a college scholarship fund that will contribute $2,500 to a local student based on their community service.

Mr. Honerkamp said upcoming events at the Talkhouse, including the venue's birthday celebration in August, will also benefit the memorial fund.

DTSMCF Scholarship!

The Donald T Sharkey Memorial Community Fund will award an annual scholarship for $2,500 dollars to an outstanding, motivated, dedicated East Hampton Town resident who will be continuing their education for the Fall 2014 semester.

Please read the eligibility information and requirements before submitting an application. The scholarship will be awarded in June 2014.

Apply Today!!!