After two years of grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, Island nonprofits finally took a little time off to party on Saturday night. But it was play time with a purpose — two, in fact: To raise money for the Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative, and to provide the opportunity for foundation workers to gather with each other and the Island public.

Tilma Johnson of Rockland Trust, and Laurel Redington, community outreach director MVY Radio. — Ray Ewing

“We are beyond thrilled to be back together,” nonprofit collaborative executive director Jackie Friedman told a crowd of representatives from about 60 Island organizations at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs.

Hosted by MVY Radio and the station's community outreach director, Laurel Redington, with funding from Rockland Trust, the Night Out for Nonprofits made its debut in 2019 as the first of what was meant to be an annual event until Covid forced a two-year hiatus.

MVY director of development Karen Altieri told the Gazette that the inaugural night out drew some 300 people and raised more than $3,000 to be given to MV Nonprofit Collaborative, which provides Island nonprofits an opportunity to attend courses on nonprofit leadership through the collaborative.

Rose Guerin and Buck Shank on stage. — Ray Ewing

“We were able to … send somebody to school,” Ms. Altieri said, adding that she expected close to the same number of people to come to this year’s night out.

As in 2019, the evening began as a networking and socializing reception for foundation workers, with the general public invited at 7 p.m. for food from Mo’s and live music by Rose Guerin. The suggested door contribution of $10, along with proceeds from donated raffle prizes, would go entirely to the nonprofit collaborative, Ms. Altieri said, because Rockland Trust underwrote the rest of the entertainment — including a Fenway Park sausage vendor just outside.

As DJ Seth Cooperrider spun music and the club’s cash bar did a steady business, nonprofit workers got re-acquainted with their counterparts and supporters from across the Island. Sailors from the maritime foundations FUEL and SailMV compared notes. Sarah McKay from Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center teased an upcoming collaboration with Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation. At the bar, housing bank advocates Doug Ruskin and Julie Fay sported campaign gear for the Island-wide initiative.

Sharon Brown of the Island Food Pantry. — Ray Ewing

Even Ms. Guerin, prior to taking the stage with her band, worked the crowd in person, handing out reminders for the Ladyfest music festival in early October.

MVY Radio, which began life in 1983 as a for-profit broadcaster before going noncommercial in 2013, cooked up the Nonprofit Night Out as a way of contributing more directly to Island causes, executive director P J Finn said.

“We don’t help sick people. We don’t house people. We don’t feed people,” he told the reception audience. What the station does provide is a platform for Island causes to get their messages out, he said.

“Please take advantage of what our nonprofit has to offer,” he said.

More pictures.