Possible Dreams Auction: Here because of you

Jim Ferraro, center left, laughs with his pal Dean Bragonier, left, after winning a big-money bid. —Michael Cummo

Imagine scoring the best seats in the house for the Oak Bluffs fireworks, with private dining at Offshore Ale Co. Or having a Bad Martha beer named after you, and getting free pints at the Brewery. Or inviting 50 of your friends to the Ritz for a private party and concert featuring Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. These unbuyable opportunities just brush the surface of what will be offered at the 38th annual Possible Dreams Auction this Sunday, July 31.

The Vineyard’s largest annual fundraiser brings together residents, visitors, and celebrities alike for a bidding exchange of Island, stateside, and overseas luxuries. The highly anticipated event is made possible by loyal locals, and all proceeds benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS).

Since its inaugural night in 1979, the event has raised more than $11 million for MVCS, an organization that supports nearly half of the Island’s population in health programs, crisis intervention, disability, and childcare services. This year’s big-ticket items, such as tickets to see “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” VIP passes to MTV’s EMA Awards, and 10 days in

Burgundy, France, give the event an undeniable upscale flair, but its local contributions also ring in priceless.

“We’ve donated for as long as I can remember,” Colleen McAndrews, business manager at Offshore Ale Co., said. “We bring in our craft beers for the actual auction, and offer third-floor private dining for six overlooking Ocean Park for the August fireworks.”

The list of contributing Vineyard businesses goes on: an overnight at the Harbor View Hotel with massages from Eclipse Massage Therapy, private shopping at Slate before oysters and a champagne dinner at Behind the Bookstore, and a flight around the Island with Classic Aviators, followed by dinner at the Right Fork Diner.

“This year we are especially blown away by the level of support we have seen from our local businesses,” MVCS development coordinator Jessica Rogers said. “The package ideas are a labor of love, dreamed up by the incredible Possible Dreams Auction committee. We consider feedback from our supporters after each auction, and make every effort to keep our packages fresh and interesting.”

This Sunday’s auction includes many new aspects. Spearpoint Oysters will sponsor an oyster bar to kick off the event, and Martha’s Vineyard Distilling Co. will bring in a “dream cocktail” Summer Lemonade Spritzer. There’s also an opportunity for a few lucky guests to win thousand-dollar Live Dreams for only $100 through the Golden Ticket raffle.

“Many people think of the auction as an event just for the very wealthy elite,” Ms. Rogers said. “But without the guests who pay $25 admission, bid on a Silent Auction, purchase raffle tickets, or buy a bite to eat, the event would not bring in the millions of dollars in success that it has.”

According to Ms. Rogers, the Possible Dreams Auction aims to offer something attractive and affordable for all. “We are here to support and empower Islanders at every stage of life and from every imaginable background,” she said.

Check-in begins at 3:30 pm at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Edgartown, followed by the Super Silent and Silent Dreams Auctions. The Live Auction begins at 5 pm, hosted by Cambridge comedian Jimmy Tingle. In the past few years, the event has brought in about 400 guests. An afterparty at the Dunes will follow the event.

“MVCS is dedicated to enhancing lives of Islanders from every corner of the Vineyard community and at every point in their journey,” Ms. Rogers said. “We are here for you for life, and our hearts are full knowing the Island is here for us in return.”

Possible Dreams Auction: Sunday, July 31, 3:30 pm. Winnetu Oceanside Resort, Edgartown. Tickets for the auction are $25; tickets for the auction and dinner are $225. For more information, visit mvcommunityservices.com.