A patchwork for fun
A musical feud erupted on Jan. 30 at the Federated Church in Edgartown between Cher and a sea chantey singer called the Whaler. Cher was singing, full voice, and standing not three feet away from the Whaler who was singing "On Top of Spaghetti" while accompanying himself on the concertina.
Those who attended the Peacequilt Project's spaghetti dinner know that heated competition among the wait staff was all part of the fun. Cher, aka Sandy McCormick, went all out in her portrayal of the superstar that included an IPod Nano downloaded with Cher tunes and docked in a speaker system. Mark Lovewell, the Whaler, lost the singing battle with Cher but won the hearts of the customers seated at his table.
The church mission committee sponsored the benefit supper with Jeanne Staples as the driving force. Ms. Staples is the director of the Peacequilt Project and has just returned from a mid-January trip to Haiti.
She thought the idea of celebrity waiters and waitresses, tipped with "funny money," would be a nice twist on the usual fundraising dinner. Guests bought the phony script at the door and used it to tip the staff. Sometimes diners would have to pay for the necessities. For example, Cher offered wine, but you had to tip to get the wine glass. Her customers gladly forked over the funds, not just for wine glasses, but for songs, and flowers too. Her efforts paid off big when at the end of the night her tips totaled $238, more than ten percent of the $2,000 raised over all. Other top money-raisers included Peter Boak, a tuxedoed waiter who used his polished style and quiet manner to rake in $151 in tips; and Melissa Pitt as Flo, the sassy waitress from the sitcom "Alice," who worked her way to $116.
The Peacequilt Project is the latest initiative of the Fish Farm for Haiti. Begun in November of 2007, Peacequilt enables Haitian women to have meaningful work to provide them with a livelihood. The first quilt-making cooperative began at the Fish Farm site in Lilavois, Haiti. The quilts are for sale here on the Island. Eventually the cooperative will become fully independent, owned and run by its members.
The Rev. Jerry Fritz, who waited tables as a competitive cyclist named Lance, stepped back from taking credit for the fundraiser. He said that the wonderful people in his congregation organized the entire evening. All he did was report for duty and have fun.
For more information on Peacequilt Project or the Fish Farm for Haiti call Jeanne Staples at 508-627-8363 or Margaret Penicaud at 508-693-0368. Tax-deductible donations may be made to Fish Farm for Haiti, P.O. 1803, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.