Shellfish benefit gets ’em shucking, sipping, and dancing

Sensational shuckers, from left: Tom Engley, Scott Castro, and Tom Berry (Katama oysters). — Photo by Lisa Vanderhoop

The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group emphasized the fun in fundraiser this past Saturday night when they hosted a rocking benefit at the Chilmark Community Center complete with Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, a chowder contest, raw bar, and silent auction. Approximately $12,000, before expenses, was raised.

The 220 guests had the option to sample six different chowders made by local restaurants: Chris Fischer of Beach Plum Inn, Teddy Diggs of the ArtCliff Diner, State Road Restaurant, Bernadette Cormie of Herring Run Kitchen caterers, Doug Smith of Lucky Hank’s, and Pat and Polly Toomey and Chris Edwards of Among the Flowers. The ArtCliff’s Teddy Diggs won first place for his oyster and smoked bluefish chowder.

Volunteers shucked approximately 1,000 oysters and guests enjoyed wine and beer donated by Your Market, Our Market, Town Provisions, Tony’s Market, Jim’s Package Store, and Offshore Ale.

For more information about the group, visit