The benefit for Rick Vanderhoop this past Saturday was unbelievable! The Aquinnah Shop was packed inside and out. It seemed like most of Aquinnah was there and many people from down Island as well. Notices were posted on Facebook during the day that the event was sold out, but that didn’t stop people from coming. Over 175 tickets were pre-sold and then more were sold at the door.

There was a silent auction as well with great jewelry, artwork, and gift certificates to restaurants and tickets to a Red Sox game. All told people and businesses donated sixty items for the auction. I asked Heidi (Rick’s daughter and organizer of the event) if she had a number in mind that she was trying to raise. She said her goal was $10,000, and part way through the night she thought that had been well exceeded. The music was divine with performances by Anne Jackson, Jennifer Clarke, and Kate Taylor. Kate’s granddaughter, Fiona,o got right up to dance when Kate started singing and I have not seen better moves from people twice her size. Her toddler groove was great fun to watch. People stayed late into the night. Heidi wanted to thank the musicians and everyone who donated food, gifts, and time and she wanted to give a shout out to Davis Solon for roasting the pig.

Rick himself seemed as if he was in another world, overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and love that must have been quite a lot to take in. It was a great celebration of Rick but also of our community and what it does for the people it loves. And everyone proved on Saturday that Rick is loved.

The next blood pressure clinic in Aquinnah will be held today, June 14 from 2 to 3 pm in the Aquinnah Town Hall. Free and open to all. If you have any questions, call Mary E. McLaughlin, RN, at 781-534-2543.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center opens for its seventh season on Saturday, June 16, at 1 pm. They will be open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm for tours of the restored 19th-century farmhouse of Aquinnah Wampanoag Edwin Devries Vanderhoop. In addition to tours, there will be special programs and events on Wampanoag and Native American culture. Be sure to mark Thursday, July 19, on your calendars when Nipmuc flute maker and player Hawk Henries will perform; and July 28, which will be our 6th annual Native American Artisans’ Festival. They are located on the Aquinnah Circle and can be reached at 508-645-7900 or

The Yard has announced its summer season which kicks off Friday, June 22, with performances by their artists in residence: Adam Barruch, Jon Kinzel, Jimena Paz, and Marya Wethers. They are also offering yoga classes in the morning, and starting in July classes and programs for kids. Go to for all the information.

The 24th Annual Strawberry Festival is next Saturday, June 23, from noon to 4 pm at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury. This is a very fun event, especially for kids, where you can get strawberry shortcake, strawberries with ice cream, or just plain strawberries to eat in or take out. I went last year and ate so many strawberries I thought I might actually turn pink, but I didn’t. For more information, call 508-693-2842.

And lastly, Father’s Day is this Sunday. Happy Father’s Day to Buddy, Chip, Rick, Cully, David, (and soon-to-be-dad Woody), Jim W., Jim N., Jimmy, Len, Lang, Dan, Lee, Paul, Walter, Jerry, Spencer, Albert, Darryl, Jimmy B., Shawn, Isaac, Hugh, Jeffrey, Jason, James, Vern, Bruce, Elliott, Curtis, Jed, Spa, Mike, Stephen, David and the many more that I am sure I am forgetting. Thanks for being there, Dads.