The Loft will host MVRHS gridder event

Touchdown Club fundraiser kicks off Saturday at 6 pm.

The MVRHS Touchdown Club will hold its 24th annual auction fundraiser on Saturday. — Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) Touchdown Club will hold its 24th annual auction fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Loft in Oak Bluffs, beginning at 6 pm.

The principal fundraising event for the MVRHS football team’s booster club is held during Thanksgiving week “to allow everyone, especially alumni who are home for the holidays, to attend,” TD Club executive secretary Kristin Gibson said this week.

Typically more than 100 fans, parents, former players, and coaches attend the gala, she said, noting that a $20 admission fee covers a salad bar, finger food, and DJ music at the three-hour event.

All of the proceeds — this year’s goal is $15,000 — are used for equipment, uniforms, transportation, and related travel costs for the MVRHS cheerleaders, and for varsity, junior varsity, and middle school football programs.

“Safety is top of mind for us, and this year we were able to purchase the best helmets made by Riddell for our junior varsity team, who enjoyed a concussion-free season,” said Gibson, whose son, MVRHS junior Aden Ross, is a varsity player.

“We also contribute to college game team visits, sponsor the annual steak dinner before the Nantucket game, provide varsity team jackets, and a preseason potluck cookout at Dan McCarthy Field for kids, parents, school staff. We charter the Nantucket ferry every other year, and we grant four or five college scholarships each year in the amount of $1,000 each to players and cheerleaders,” she said.

The TD Club also gathers sponsor support for its discount Purple Pride cards for use at area retail and service businesses and for signing at Dan McCarthy Field. “We have about 60 total sponsors from the community to date,” Gibson said.

“A lot goes into having a successful football program and experience. It really does take a village, the entire community to do it,” Gibson said.

The 2019 auction event will be a happy affair, as the 2019 Vineyarders stopped a three-year losing skid and returned to their winning ways after the return of longtime coach Donald Herman after a short retirement.

Word is that copies of “Purple Pride,” Herman’s memoir about three decades of Island coaching, penned during his two-year retirement, will be available on Saturday night as part of the auction.

The silent auction features 55 items, and the live auction has 10, as well as the traditional scratch-ticket holiday tree (adorned with more than $125 worth of Massachusetts Lottery scratch tickets to date).

This year, a special basket full of gifts has been donated in memory of Neil Estrella, Islander, player, coach, and TD Club volunteer, who died this year

The silent auction will start at 6 pm and wrap up at 7:30 pm. The live auction will begin at 8 pm.

Here’s a sampling of live and silent auction items: 

Sharky’s After Work Party, value $+500

Black Dog Hat and Sweatshirt, value $96

Shepherd’s Provisions Gift Basket, value $50 

Packer Oil: 100 Gallons Home Heating Oil 

ABC Trash Removal, 1 Tote per week/6 months free 

Par Lindholm Bruins Autographed Puck with display case, value $125 

Maggie’s Salon Gift Bag, value $65 

Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks Vase, value $150 

Me & My Boys Watercolor Painting by Lily Keller, value $250 

Sharks: Four General Admission Season Tickets, Sharks Swag, and 1 week for Sharks drop-in Clinics, value $+750 

Presto 16 qt. Pressure Canner/Cooker & $50 Stop and Shop Gift Card 

Movie Night Gift Basket, value $100 

Christmas Gift Basket, value $40 

Green Room: Hydro Flask and 4 Igloo stainless steel tumblers, value $75