The Chilmark Community Center was all a-buzz from last Thursday afternoon though midday Sunday. It started when Peter Knight, Keith Fenner, with Spa Tharpe were called upon for the ceremonial hanging of the tarp. What, you ask? It has become a tradition to string a (to quote a child) “ginormous” tarp up and over the rafters for our big PTO fundraiser. I am not sure of its exact dimensions but it manages to cover the entire ceiling at the CCC, and in the process it really lends itself to creating a much more intimate atmosphere — and improves the acoustics, to boot. Thanks to Merrily and Frank Fenner for being the bearers and lenders of the wonder tarp.

Friday afternoon marked the beginning of the rest of the set-up process. Keith Fenner, Lauren Giglio, Susan Goldsmith, Molly Glasgow, Juan Narciso More´, Nancy Leport, Kelly McGuiggin, Jessica Benjamin, Jenny Christy, Tracy Thorpe, Patricia Bacon, Kendra Buresch, Hillary Noyes-Keene, Julie Flanders, Susan Stevens and more piled in to string lights, roll out the tables and set out the chairs, hang dangling whirls of color and some of the most fabulous artwork, courtesy of our school children.

The set-up continued with the displaying of 109 truly remarkable auction items that were donated by so many of you. Little reminders like this really show us what a caring and giving community we live in and our children thrive in. The goods were all laid out and the floor was swept once more as the PTO parents eagerly anticipated the opening of the doors and the flood of guests. Nancy Leport, Jenny Christy, Michael Goldsmith, Molly Glasgow, and Noni Smith all took turns greeting the entering guests. Many were raring to hit the dance floor and get down with the sights and sounds Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish. Yes, Johnny and his team of Jeremy Berlin, Buck Shank, and special guest (and father of a Chilmark School student) Tauras Biskis got the joint jumping with some real boogie-down bluesy rock. I think the Center was pulsating.

John Keene, Doug Bardwell, and Marshall Carroll manned the beverage station with guest appearances by Jeffrey Zack. Ellen Biskis coordinate the dessert tables. The desserts were, as always, decadently prepared by the parent body. Lindsey Scott was our popcorn queen. Her skills with the popcorn maker filled the room with the glorious smell of hot, fresh-popped corn. Kerry Taylor’s crafty talents were on each table in the form of donation jars and Johna McVey contributed the helium that set the balloons afloat. Beverages were coordinated by Elizabeth Straton and no one was thirsty. I am a Coca-Cola-aholic and, thanks to Elizabeth, my mouth was never dry.

Trip Barnes took center stage mid-evening to get the live auction portion of our event under way. He had the room roaring with laughter in typical Trip style. He made a few folks very happy with their winning bids — a fishing charter, cocktail cruise, propane and heating oil, catered dinner, Maui rental, hay ride, touch a truck birthday party, firewood, and a hand-painted chair by the Chilmark School students all made their way out the door with some very happy recipients. Jennifer Clarke, Craig Keefe, John Keene, Robert Lionette, Dan Athearn, Ken Cottrill, Cliff Karako and our kids — we thank you for your donations.

Clearly I had a fabulous weekend and I am pretty sure many of you did, too. It wasn’t just Chilmark School parents twirling on the dance floor. I spotted Onnie and Andy Palmer, Margaret Maida, Ed Sussman and Dana Nunes, Nan and Warren Doty, Zee and Bill Gamson, Kathie and Emmett Carroll, Judy and Ted Mayhew, Kim Cottrill, Alex and Shawn MacPhail, Wendy Weldon, David Norton, Holly Norton, Deb Hancock, Linda and Robert Coutinho, Deb Dunn and Jim Feiner, Paige and Roberto Guizzardi and so very many more.

Clean-up began around 11:30 pm with a great mix of music created by my dear daughter, Bradley Carroll, keeping the pace upbeat. Thanks to Gil Carroll, Josh Scott, James Shepherd, Kaky Powell, Johna McVey and a few more dedicated faces for putting the Center back in PineSol fresh form. And, as always, to Rodney Bunker for his dedication to keeping the Center a well-oiled machine. If I inadvertently left your name out of this whirlwind of a recap, please accept my most heartfelt apologies. You really were not overlooked in person, just in print.