Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Thrift Shop raises $43,000

Thrift store manager and fashion show organizer Noava Knight and her boyfriend Sdanda Harag sported their own style at the Needle Book Fashion Show Friday. — Photo by Michelle Gross

There’s nothing thrifty about the $43,000 Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) popular Vineyard Haven Thrift Shop raised over the weekend. Hundreds of people attended two events at the thrift shop, more commonly known as Chicken Alley, off of Lagoon Pond Road. On Friday night, an inaugural Needle Book Fashion Show raised over $3,000. It acted as the precursor for Sunday’s 11 annual Chicken Alley Art Show.

“It was definitely very hectic” said store manager and fashion show organizer Noava Knight. “For our first fashion show I’m pretty happy with how much we raised and everyone seemed to have a really great time.”

All of the designers and models in the show are local to the Vineyard, Ms. Knight explained. “It’s a nice community event and you get to involve so many local people,” Ms. Knight said. “Our whole thing is trying to bring awareness for sustainable and up-cycled materials, which is so important in the world right now.”

DJ Ricky Prime was spinning the beats and keeping things “fresh,” along with Not Your Sugar Mamas, the Vineyard Haven chocolatiers who provided the crowd with an assortment of sweet treats.

Ms. Knight said all donations to the shop are tax deductible and the proceeds benefit core community services including mental health counseling, addiction rehabilitation, child care, parenting skills, disability services, and elderly outreach.

On Sunday, hundreds of pieces of framed art and collectables were sold at a variety of prices. Preparation for the art show begins months in advance, Ms. Knight said. In the days leading up to the event, MVCS holds a fire-sale discounting items at half-off. What doesn’t go at marked-down prices is removed or given away to make way for new merchandise.

In 2002, the Thrift Shop took its place in the arts community of Martha’s Vineyard by hosting the first Chicken Alley Art’s and Collectable Sale at the suggestion of summer resident Olga Hirshhorn. The art collector, philanthropist, and widow of Joseph Hirshhorn, who founded the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, has been a Thrift Shop regular for many years.

The event caught on and has raised significant funds in support of MVCS ever since.

“People seem to really love it and have a really great time,” Ms. Knight said. “Now we need to start thinking ahead for next year.”