A trail of white balloons lined Herring Creek Farm in Katama Wednesday evening, blowing slowly in the light wind. At the end of the long line of balloons, a white tent jutted into the sky, and about 300 diners dressed in white suits and white dresses dined at 16 tables with white table cloths and white napkins. A few white clouds floating by were in keeping with the color theme of the night at the charitable pop-up party.
By 6 p.m. each table was set up with fine silverware, wine and plenty of food to go around, however, just a half hour earlier the field was completely empty. Planning had been going on for months, but partygoers were not told the secret location of the event until 3 p.m. on Wednesday and were given strict instructions not to arrive before 5:30 p.m.
Upon arrival, the 16 groups worked together under the guidance of 16 “captains” to quickly set up tables and chairs and put out an elaborate spread of food. In addition to guiding each table, the 16 captains had all picked a charity, one of which would win the proceeds for the entire event.
Just before 7 p.m., conversations were quieted as Sharon Johnson, who organized the event, addressed the crowd. Ms. Johnson thanked all of the guests, especially the captains who were so crucial to the planning. Then she invited Chris Bonica, who was assisting with parking, up front to draw a single charity out of a white hat.
The winner of the check, which totaled around $4,000, was the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, proposed by Gail Farrish.
“I am looking forward to the day when they rehab the [marine] hospital and the museum becomes a destination point for people coming to the Island,” said Ms. Farrish, who has been on the museum board for six years. “It has such historic significance for this Island.”
Although 15 of the charities went home empty-handed, all of the teams were happy to enjoy the evening and to support the museum.
“My charity didn’t get chosen tonight, but the Martha’s Vineyard Museum was chosen, which is wonderful, too,” said Ms. Johnson, who had entered the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group into the lottery. “It will look great once they start working on that property up in Vineyard Haven. Any charity is a good one.”
By the time the evening came to a close, all of the teams had proposed a few toasts to the museum and to the pop-up party. While all of the money went to the museum, everybody shared in the festivities and celebrated like winners.