A GoFundMe page has been created to gather financial support for the Portuguese-American (P.A.) Club as it faces the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.
Gillian Badot, who created the crowdfunding page, has been a bartender at the P.A. Club for six years. She said that the Island community has already been incredibly supportive of an institution that has been bringing people together since 1926.
So far, the GoFundMe has raised more than $4,000 for the club after being posted online for only two days, and more than 50 people have donated.
“Obviously the P.A. Club has done so much for the community over the years. Their generosity is an outstanding representation of the Vineyard as a whole,” Badot said.
Since the normal fundraising initiatives that allow the club to keep their doors open are made largely impossible by social-distancing restrictions, Badot said, she wanted to spread the word online.
“It’s not just the loss of funds for the past two months, it’s seeing into the future for however long we are not going to be able to host events,” Badot said. “We had a lot of fun summer events planned that would give us funds to stay open. Obviously, most of those can’t happen, so we are trying to reach out and get ahead.”
The P.A. Club’s board of directors have been discussing ways to host safe and responsible events during the summer, Badot said, but are waiting to hear the guidance from the state in the coming weeks.
Even if the P.A. Club is able to open during phase two of the reopening plan, Badot said, it will be open at limited capacity.
Apart from the many community events such as fish fries, the beloved annual Chili Contest, community Easter egg hunts, and Christmas celebrations with Santa, the P.A. Club also contributes a large monetary sum each year to scholarships for Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students.
“The club is an integral part of the community, and all the members are proud to support so many different charitable causes on Martha’s Vineyard,” Badot said. “When all this is over, people are going to be really eager to have the P.A. Club back.