Reader’s Digest Offers Helping Hand

95A crew of volunteers from Reader’s Digest’s Home and Garden magazine pitched in to help the Montauk Village Association on Tuesday. Janis Hewitt

The Montauk Village Association got a bit of unexpected help on Tuesday from about 50 volunteers from the digital media group of Reader’s Digest Home and Garden magazine, who worked with it to clean up several small landscaped areas on the west side of the downtown business district.

The two groups, working with the crew from Mickey Valcich’s landscaping business, started on the pebbled island in front of 7-Eleven and worked on several areas up to John’s Drive-In to remove the small white rocks surrounding trees and other plantings, regrade the sites, and then add mulch. In spring, the spaces will be filled with roses and other potted plants.

A manager from 7-Eleven, watching from the store’s window, finally walked outside to see what was going on. He then sent out a case of water and sodas for the volunteers on the unseasonably humid day.

It’s a project that Nancy Keeshan, the president of the M.V.A., said has been in the works for a few months now and involves matching the west end of the district to the east end. Coming up will be an appeal for money to purchase the new plants and bushes.

Christine Masterson of Reader’s Digest said that each year when the group meets for its annual sales meeting, it reaches out to the community it is meeting in to offer assistance on a beautification project. The group, primarily from New York City, stayed at Gurney’s Inn for its three-day meeting.

Ms. Masterson said that when they researched Montauk they learned about the M.V.A., and she contacted Ms. Keeshan, who said she was pleasantly surprised to learn of the plan. The volunteers all donned matching blue T-shirts as they worked.

“What a cool thing for volunteers from New York City to make things better for the M.V.A.,” said Ms. Keeshan.