The Dec. 5, 1862 Vineyard Gazette issue included the humorous homily: “‘You had better ask for manners than money,’ said a finely dressed gentleman to a beggar boy who had asked for alms. ‘I asked for what I thought you had the most of,’ was the boys reply.”
That gave me a chuckle and a thought; there are a few paydays left before the end of the year, and we should consider charity for the holidays. One hundred and fifty years later there continues to be those in need. Several organizations will benefit from your contribution, and I urge you to pick one or some that pique your interest. I’ve heard there are close to 200 on-Island in these times of need, and it is time to share.
Dukes County county declared last Aug. 3 to be Philanthropy Day, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Donors Collaborative. Founded in 2003, the collaborative works to expand Vineyard philanthropy and strengthen Island nonprofit organizations. It’s founded on the premise that the local community is critical to maintaining the character of the Island, and that its nonprofits are critical to the community. It educates donors about the needs of the Island and philanthropic opportunities offered by nonprofits. It also advocates for the nonprofit community and provides technical support. The Martha’s Vineyard Donors Collaborative is self-funded — it does not solicit funds for itself; it does not choose among organizations to support; and it does not provide access to donors without their permission. There is a remarkable statistic in the newsletter: 37,086 meals were delivered by Meals on Wheels to Islanders in the fiscal year of 2012. Considering a year-round population of 15,000, that is a lot. The collaborative is a good source of information – particularly if you’re a seasonal Vineyarder. If you need tax deductions, or are long on funds and short on ideas, check out mvdonors.org.
An abbreviated version of Oak Bluffs’ filmmaker Spike Lee’s fabulous new documentary Bad 25 aired on Boston’s WCVB channel 5 Thanksgiving night, which is about Michael Jackson’s 1987 album, Bad. The documentary comes out on DVD in a few weeks. Thanks, Spike.
Last Saturday many Island fashionistas turned out for the opening of Studioshop and Fashion Flowers, by Randi Sylvia of RKS Leather and Marlene DiStefano of Island Ambiance. The boutique is located in the former Pik Nik space in the arts district. Studioshop is selling handmade designer clothing and bags, jewelry and (yay!) cut flowers. Michael Hunter is at his pop-up store in Boston, and Pik Nik remains in Edgartown.
The annual Martha’s Vineyard NAACP Holiday Bazaar is at the high school cafeteria from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow. A silent auction, raffle and baked goods are on sale along with artisans’ works. Admission is free.
Next Wednesday Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard hosts the Reflections of Peace Christmas Concert at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church on Massasoit avenue at 7:30 p.m. The concert celebrates the spirit of community with performances of time-honored songs by a number of musicians. The concert is privately funded, so all proceeds from the $15 admission go directly to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard Community Services is hosting a free event, Holiday Blues with Dr. Maxwell, on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the high school. No, not musical blues, it’s a talk about seasonal depression with clinicians available for private screenings.
Next Friday the Friends of the Oak Bluffs Library host a Holiday Open House at the library from 2 to 4 p.m. The fun includes children’s crafts, holiday food, music and grab bag gifts for kids — Santa joins at 3 p.m. The whole family is welcome.
I had breakfast at Linda Jean’s with our indefatigable town administrator, Bob Whritenour. Raised in Providence, Bob got his undergraduate degree in urban planning and his master’s degree in public administration that have served to help him steer our economic situation into the right direction. It’s a pleasant surprise that he is so knowledgeable about Oak Bluffs history after being here a short time. I was also surprised to learn that his hobby is blues guitar! Wouldn’t it be cool if he and Jimmy Parr of Parr Audio could hook up to play a few songs at the Harbor Festival or Tivoli Day next year? Happy early to Mr. Whritenour on Sunday. Thanks for all the hard work on behalf of the town. Happy belated birthday to Selectman Gail Barmakian.
Just 171 days to Memorial Day (chuckle!).
Keep your foot on a rock.