A common theme in my columns this summer has been East Chop volunteers. As the summer draws to a close, I begin to think of our winter community. They are an impressive group.
We have two prominent politicians. Walter Vail and Greg Coogan are members of the Oak Bluffs board of selectmen. Several of our full-time residents serve on important government boards or committees. Bob Huss is a member of the finance committee and the Port Council, the advisory board for the Steamship Authority. Fred Hancock chairs the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, the important governmental body that makes Island-wide zoning decisions. Terry Appenzellar, Penny Hinkle and John Breckenridge are members of the Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission.
Our residents also play prominent roles in several Island nonprofit organizations. Featherstone operates 12 months a year. Patsy McCornack, Caryl Dearing, Mary Woodcock, Judy Cunniffe, and Kate Hancock work there. Craig Dripps oversees the lighthouses for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. You sometimes think Jim Richardson is a winter resident because he comes back so often for museum board meetings. Les Woodcock is a member of the Friends of the Library board and writes their newsletter. Terry Appenzellar and Penny Hinkle play prominent roles in the Vineyard Conservation Society. Kate Hancock, Debby Lewis and Pete Meleney are on the board of Friends of Sengekontacket. Anne Lememager chairs the board of directors of MVTV, the Island’s public television station. In addition, she broadcasts several sporting events throughout the year and is the sports reporter for the weekly news show.
Rob Hammett and Steve Durkee, the park chairs for the East Chop Association, will be busy all winter. They will organize and supervise the cleanup of at least one of our parks. Full-time residents will be seen throughout the winter picking up trash along our roads.
Liz Huss and Penny and Don Hinkle volunteer regularly at the Oak Bluffs Elementary School. Bill and Beth O’Brien, along with Don and Penny Hinkle, drive for Meals on Wheels throughout the winter months. The list goes on and on, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone. The point, of course, is that these volunteers are making an important contribution to both our community and the wider community of Oak Bluffs. People both during and after the August East Chop Association meeting spoke about the good relationship East Chop has with the town of Oak Bluffs. The people mentioned above are the reason why. I am proud of them.
On a sadder note, we will say goodbye to two beloved members of our community this weekend. On Saturday, August 30, at 10 a.m. there will be a memorial service for Chuck Sanders at Union Chapel. A reception will follow at the East Chop Tennis Club. On Sunday, August 31, at 5:30 p.m., a celebration of Polly O’Leary’s life will be held at the East Chop Beach Club. All those who loved her are urged to attend.
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