The East Hampton community has rallied around 17-year-old lifeguard ever since she broke her neck in the ocean surf last month. Saturday's at was no different with hundreds from different facets of the community showing up to lend their support.
Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, who sits on the town board with Doris' mother, Deputy Town Supervisor Theresa Quigley, said the event was "representative of what our core community is. That's what living in a small town community really is."
Organizing the benefit BBQ were the East Hampton Town Lifeguards, the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad, and the East Hampton High School Senior Class. , filmed the event and with the help of LTV are putting together a video with messages for Doris.
The East Hampton Lions Club also gave a hand with the cooking on Saturday. Joe Bloecker, who is also the president of the , also donated 800 clams that he dug from Lake Montauk for the occasion, on behalf of both groups.
Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said he loved seeing the cross-section of the community there. "It's a great mix of parents, kids, colleagues and youth," he said. "They not only identify with Doris but they realize Doris would be here for them."
Doris was paralyzed when she broke her neck diving into the ocean at Atlantic Avenue Beach on Aug. 22. Her mother, who spoke to the crowd on Saturday, said, she had a five-hour surgery — which was supposed to last just two hours — at Stony Brook University on the night of the accident. She regained the ability to move one of her legs.
Last week, . Her father, Tom Quigley, told the crowd that she faces six to nine months of physical therapy to recover from the injury.
"She has the love and support of her sisters and brother, of her lifeguard family — I think almost every single lifeguard in town has been up to see Doris," Theresa Quigley said, adding that her classmates and teachers have also been a source of support.
Theresa Quigley described Doris as upbeat and in good spirits. "Doris is very, very, very positive. Doris ," she said. "Doris is positive because we're positive around her and we're positive around her because of you, around us. We have the loving arms of this community, protecting us, shielding us from bad and keeping our hopes and spirits up."