Edgartown: Congratulations graduates

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Giant congratulations wishes go out to all of the 2017 graduates of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School and the MVRHS. I loved seeing all the pictures and reading all the stories on Facebook over the past few days. So much emotion surrounds high school graduation, from relief that the kids sometimes white-knuckled their way through some hard times to utter pride and joy seeing their child cross that stage to collect that well-earned diploma. Congratulations to all the kids, and to the staff, parents, and families who helped these wonderful kids succeed. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Jen Passafiume on June 12. I hope you had a fabulous day, Jen. The weather certainly cooperated for you!

I’d like to toot Riley’s horn briefly here, if I may. We went off for the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Gosnold Division Award Ceremony on Saturday, where Riley “ranked up” to E3, and was awarded the VFW Medal for Exceptional Leadership (sponsored by our local VFW), the Academic Achievement Award, the Unit Marksmanship Trophy, Pistol Expert Ribbon, Community Service Ribbon, and Coast Guard Shield Appurtenance. I appreciate you letting me brag about him here. He commits so much time and energy to the Sea Cadets and his other military-related endeavors that he doesn’t take part in many sports or other school extracurricular activities, so I do like to share his achievements with the cadets when I can. Thanks for humoring this proud mama.

The summer season is officially beginning at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum with the debut of two complementary exhibits featuring past and present Island immigrants as well as the reopening of the 18th century Cooke House. The opening party will be held at the Edgartown campus on Friday, June 16, from 5 until 7 pm, offering free admission, food, and drinks to celebrate the season.

Local photographer Mila Lowe has partnered with the museum to tell the stories of immigrants from around the world who have moved to the Island. Ms. Lowe wants to use this exhibit to emphasize the fact that we are all human beings, despite cultural differences. The exhibit, titled “The Local Immigrant Project,” will be hung in the Northeast Gallery of the Museum with pictures and profiles of people from countries such as Serbia, Poland, Japan, the Czech Republic, India, and more. There are also short oral histories recorded by WMVY Radio’s Laurel Redington accompanying the exhibit.

Pairing with Lowe’s exhibit, MVRHS senior Nevin Wallis will complete his yearlong internship with the museum by displaying his own work on Island immigrants in the Spotlight Gallery. Wallis’ focus is on immigrants from the past, working with century-old pictures found in the Dukes County Courthouse archives. His work will also be opening June 16, for a shorter run.

The Edgartown Council on Aging, also known as the Anchors, is seeking Edgartown residents as new volunteer board members to advise and supervise the COA, which is a department of the town of Edgartown providing services, events, activities, and programs to Edgartown and Island elders. The board meets once a month, 10 months out of the year, to provide support and guidance. The meetings are pleasant, fun, interesting, and no longer than an hour and a half. Pastries, coffee, and refreshments provided. Please call Paul Mohair, administrator, at 508-627-4368 for more information.

If you’re brave enough to venture out of town these days, please join us for a Solstice Celebration on June 21 from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm at the Gay Head Lighthouse to kick off the summer season, thank the selectmen for their contribution to the lighthouse move, and honor Len Butler for his tireless efforts to saving and restoring the Gay Head Lighthouse! The lighthouse will be open for visitors, and there will be a small ceremony, followed by bite-size desserts. Friends and family are welcome!

Featherstone is having an art sale of work by more than 70 Island artists on June 23, from 12 pm until 7 pm, and June 24 from 10 am until 5 pm. All funds will be used for the new Art Barn, the first and largest purpose-built gallery ever on the Island. All work is available for a minimum $200 or $100 donation. Artwork will be refreshed continually. Call 508-693-1850 for details.

I can’t believe the school year is winding down. This week is full of events celebrating the eighth graders before they graduate at the Old Whaling Church on Friday. I’m sure many tears will be shed in the coming days by the students, the parents, and the staff of our great school. After nine years here, the staff tends to see these kids as “our kids,” and it is hard to say goodbye. But the excitement of high school awaits!

Things continue to get busy here on our little Island. Please be careful out there, whether you travel by foot, bike, car, or anything in between. Remember that others here are new drivers, or older drivers, or unfamiliar with our beautiful Island, or lost. Try to be patient. Let each other through in traffic. Take a second or third look at intersections, and slow down. All of these vehicles carry cargo that is very precious to someone. Patience and kindness need to be our mantras, not only in the summer but all year. Have a great week.