Town Column : Oak Bluffs
Hooray for the sun, which brought flowers to bloom and smiles to faces after the endless days of rain. It also brought out holiday crowds, but not a deluge. Ken Debettencourt's garden on Wing Road is now showing promise of some flowers blossoming in the near future, and the kids have been out of school for a few weeks. Do I dare to say it louder than a whisper? - summer is here.
You are invited to the Oak Bluffs Library on Tuesday, July 14, from 6 to 7:30 pm when Sabrina Buehler will show slides and talk about the Chikumbuso Project. The Chikumbuso Women and Orphans Project began in 2005 with one widow and her seven children. In the past three years it has grown to include more than 60 widows, 40 single mothers, 20 grandmothers, and 300 students.
The program is based in Ng'ombe in Lusaka, Zambia. Through education and microenterprise, Chikumbuso creates opportunities and provides hope. The projects include a training program, a school for orphans, and microenterprise development.
The Honorable Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, Haiti's Minister of Women's Affairs and Rights, will be visiting Martha's Vineyard from July 15 through 19 as the guest of the volunteers of Martha's Vineyard Fish Farm for Haiti Project and PeaceQuilts, two Vineyard humanitarian organizations working to relieve poverty in Haiti. She will be accompanied by a small delegation and is here to support the "Island to Island Solidarity" initiative. She will be the Guest Speaker on Thursday, July 16, at the library meeting room. The program will run from 6 to 8 pm, and the public is invited.
Chilmark resident Sam Feldman, whose late wife Gretchen served on the board of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society, has decided to make a gift to the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society in honor of Gretchen. William De Rosa, who is featured in the first program of the season, was a favorite musician of Gretchen's. Through Sam's generosity, the concerts featuring Mr. De Rosa will be complimentary for every member of the audience. Join them at 8 pm at the Old Whaling Church on Monday, July 13, or at the Chilmark Community Center on Tuesday, July 14, to enjoy the music of Mozart, Schumann, Hindemith, and Chopin and to pay tribute to Gretchen Feldman, a friend who is sorely missed. Season subscribers may keep the tickets they have received for the first concert of the season and use them for any other concert or, better yet, invite friends and newcomers to another of the summer concerts.
On July 1, Jim Thomas of Oak Bluffs, Deborah Medders of Vineyard Haven, and Sharry Stevens-Grunden of Oak Bluffs, Disaster Action Team members with the Cape Cod and Islands chapter of the American Red Cross, participated in the first regional sheltering simulation in Yarmouth. The exercise was held at the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, one of six regional shelters identified by the Barnstable County Emergency Management Team. This was also the first time that multiple agencies collaborated to offer a regional full-service shelter including a special area to shelter pets. Jim, Deborah, and Sharry were three of the 71 Red Cross Staff from all over Cape Cod and the islands participating in this simulation, which lasted seven hours.