Chambers of Commerce, SSA host businesses aboard Island Home

From left, Kimberlee McHugh and Wayne Lamson, general manager of the Steamship Authority, welcomed ferrygoers aboard the Island Home. — Photo by Michelle Gross

The event may be called “Business After Hours,” but it was little work and mostly relaxation aboard the Steamship Authority (SSA) ferry Island Home Wednesday evening, June 19, as part of the yearly networking event sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, the Steamship Authority, and the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce.

About 100 business networkers arrived at the SSA’s Vineyard Haven terminal for a 4:30 pm check-in before the ferry’s 5 pm departure to Falmouth.

The two-hour event featured live “funky calypso” music, compliments of Steel Breeze, as well as hors d’oeuvres, buckets of rum punch, wine, and beer.

Yvonne Dennis-Stewart of the Mansion House Spa enjoyed a glass of rum punch with co-workers.

“I’m originally from Jamaica, so this feels like home to me,” Ms. Dennis-Stewart said.

Eric Turner, a retired Vineyard resident, was all smiles after winning an overnight stay and dinner in Newport, Rhode Island. “We’re just too excited,” Mr. Turner said.

Business cards were drawn for several prizes including a gift certificate to Giordano’s restaurant in Oak Bluffs, a $100 gift certificate to the YMCA, and a $100 gift certificate to dine at the Black Dog Tavern.

“It’s a very unique and fun experience,” Nancy Gardella, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce said. “People really seem to enjoy themselves in a casual setting, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate our business community.”

Donations were also made on behalf of Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Jeff Bauman.

Mr. Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombing near the finish line at the Marathon, will visit the Vineyard, along with seven of his family and friends, for a three-day vacation later this summer.