At 50, Sheriff's Meadow celebrates and looks ahead
Over 50 years, the Sheriff's Meadow Foundation (SMF), Martha's Vineyard's largest private conservation organization, has grown from a 10-acre holding and one man's vision of preservation to 2,600 acres with more than 2,700 members. Monday night Sheriff's Meadow celebrated its half-century anniversary in elegant style.
Some 400 guests, a sellout crowd, gathered under a white tent set up in the Allen Farm sheep pasture overlooking upper Chilmark Pond and the Atlantic Ocean for Sheriff's Meadow's annual summer benefit.
Guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner built around an "Island grown" menu that included local chicken, seafood, and greens prepared by Tea Lane Caterers.
They also heard stonemason and poet John Maloney read a poem Sanctuary, in memory of Henry Beetle Hough and Elizabeth Bowie Hough
In past years, Sheriff's Meadow relied on a noted conservationist to deliver remarks. In a change, this year they opted to have singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor entertain the crowd, backed up by bluegrass band Ballyhoo. Judging by the enthusiastic applause it was the right choice.
Mr. Taylor ended the evening with a soft rendition of "Over the Rainbow," and asked the audience to join in. As if on the cue their voices rose in unison under the soft glow of paper lanterns swaying in the evening breeze.
Sheriff's Meadow officials kept the speeches short and sweet. The theme of the evening might best be described as new beginnings for an organization that has undergone a significant change in recent years.
Last year the leadership of Sheriff's Meadow passed to Emily Bramhall, president, and Adam Moore, executive director. In June the foundation added new board members Kathy Ham, Chris Alley, and Susanna Bristol.