Sharks game raises thousands for local veterans



In a display of community spirit and generosity, an M.V. Sharks baseball game last week turned into a fundraising event that helped raise more than $8,000 for local veterans. 

Organized by Bob Tankard, veterans outreach coordinator for the Island at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, money was raised through a silent auction. All funds went toward supporting local veterans with housing, food, counseling, and other services and necessities.

Tankard described the atmosphere at the Sharks baseball game as “electric,” with attendees bidding on various items donated by local businesses and individuals. Tankard estimated that more than 3,000 people attended the game, and nearly 300 people participated in the silent auction.

“The auction’s turnout was spectacular,” Tankard said. “The support from the community has been incredible, and it will make a significant difference in the lives of our veterans.” Among the silent auction items were lobsters, fuel, and dinners at Linda Jean’s. 

One of the standout supporters of the event was rising high school senior Cal Darcy, who threw the first pitch. 

Cal works as a volunteer for the veterans. Growing up in a family of veterans, he was inspired to honor their sacrifices from a young age. At 14, he began working with Tankard and the veterans. This year, he organized a motorcycle Harley ride and a silent auction on Memorial Day weekend, raising $11,800 for veterans. Cal noted the importance of giving back to veterans who sacrificed for the country.

Aside from the $8,000 raised on Tuesday, the veterans group is planning more events with the Sharks.