Music : Flamingos warm up winter
Put on your pink and orange-flowered shirt, stick a flower in your hair, and go to the Chilmark Community Center on Saturday night to take the chill out of the winter, Caribbean style. The Chilmark school parent teacher organization (PTO) is holding a benefit dance featuring The Smok'n Flamingos (core members brothers Dennis and Bill Duffy and Phil Morris), loads of homemade desserts, a cash bar, an auction with enticing items, and a chance to support the Chilmark school's outing and enrichment program.
Impressive Island musicians will provide backup: Merrily Fenner on bass guitar and vocals, with Mark Mazer and Eddie Medeiros on guitar and vocals.
Ms. Fenner, one of the event coordinators, says, "I can't say enough about The Flamingos. Time and time again, they have shown up, paying their own expenses, to help out events.
File Photo by Ralph Stewart
"All three are a sketch and wonderful people to get to know. Dennis started coming to Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Edie, 10 years ago, and would stay at the Outermost Inn where he got to know Huey [Taylor] and it wasn't long before we were all singing together. Dennis brought his band down to play for a wedding and from there, The Smok'n Flamingos became popular with the up-Islanders as friends and entertainers.
"They are always giving. They've donated their time to memorial services for people they never personally knew, and last year they played for the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School Irish Studies group, which was in need of money for their Ireland trip."
For his part, Dennis Duffy claims he's the lucky one. From his home north of Boston, he says, "Why do we do this? Lots of reasons; the fun of it certainly but mainly it's the camaraderie. We've made a lot of friends on Martha's Vineyard and it's a chance to see our musical and other buddies, a chance to warm up a long winter. I love the spirit of community on Martha's Vineyard. It's unlike anything I've seen. To be a part of that is a gift."
Photo courtesy of smokinflamingos.com
Chilmark school PTO members Alicia Knight and Rachel Hickey are putting together an auction loaded with practical items including: a $100 Lambert's Cove Inn gift certificate, a two-week membership to The Mansion House gym, a $600 scrapbook kit, three weeks of a housecleaning service, a load of mulch or topsoil, and a DVD of the entire season of "The Deadliest Catch" TV series.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to enrichment programs such as sailing on the Shenandoah out of Vineyard Haven, a ski trip, and this year, a plan to bring educational consultant Janine Fitzgerald to the school to develop a program connecting parents with their kids' educational experience.
But on Saturday night, the focus will be on fun and fellowship.
Caribbean Night at the Chilmark Community Center, doors open at 7 pm for drinks and dessert. Dancing from 8 until 11 pm. Tickets are $12 purchased at the door, Menemsha Texaco, Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank in Chilmark, from Ms. Fenner (508-645-3814) and Judy LoRusso (645-2287).
Jack Shea is a regular contributor at The Martha's Vineyard Times.