A really big day is coming up for me, March 8. No, it’s not my birthday, better than that. It’s International Women’s Day. In celebration and in honor of 51 per cent of the population Zephrus restaurant has teamed up with Women Empowered. All Islanders and guests, women and men, are invited to Zephrus between 5 and 8 p.m. to meet and mingle with the board of directors of Women Empowered, celebrate with your friends, discuss progress and enjoy a delicious dinner. There is no entrance fee, no reservation required, no lectures. Zephrus has pledged 20 per cent of all dinner receipts to Women Empowered, our on-Island nonprofit organization that helps women and men with life skills. A hot topic that night will be our own first Women Empowered awards honoring an Island woman this spring. Nomination forms and information will be available at the dinner. I’ll see you there.

The Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network invites all to an interactive seminar in the Baylies room of the Old Whaling Church on Thursday, March 5 at 6 p.m. Members may preregister for $5, non-members for $15, and walk-ins enter for $25.00. Preregister online by Monday, March 2 at, or mail to MVWN, P.O. Box 4595, Vineyard Haven, or drop in at Kiddo’s in the Tisbury Marketplace or Ameriprise Financial in Edgartown. Lynn Switanowski of the Boston-based Creative Business Consulting Group will speak on opportunities created in an economic slowdown. Lynn has many proactive solutions to keep us from gloom and doom. Now is the time.

This is my last reminder about the online essay contest for young people from fourth grade through age 24. The essay questions are broken down by group or grade aging and will be judged in separate categories, so your fourth grader isn’t up against a 20-year-old. The topics are democracy and change, how timely is that? Deadline is midnight March 6. Check out the rules at

More help is available in the take-charge-of-your-money department in these troubled economic times. Choose to Own Your Money at a workshop at the Mansion House on Saturday, March 7 from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. This is presented by Bonnie Marcus. Guest speakers are Jennifer Marlin and Margo Urbany-Joyce. To register call 508-696-0038 or go to The workshop is $49; continental breakfast is included.

Whew! That’s a lot of self-improvement, money management, and life skills. Sounds like good preparation for what will get worse before it gets better.

Condolences to the family and friends of Louise Robinson who died last weekend. Her dear sister, Anna Duarte, is one of my best friends. May the family be comforted by all the great memories of Louise.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Ryann Gold, George Giosmas, Steve Bradley and Rafaela DeOliveira today. Leap year boys Fella Cecilio and Sam Alley must make due with tomorrow. March 1 is shared by Nichole Daly and Maura Dickson. March 2 is claimed by Leide DePaula. March 3 belongs to Aaron LaPiana and Larry Gardella. March 4 is a party for Alison Ferreira, Sean George, Justin Eli and Michael Baptiste. And on March 5 Glen Andrews and Marguerite Hegarty take the cake. Many happy returns.