Sail Martha’s Vineyard, an organization dedicated to connecting Island children with their maritime roots, will honor Capt. Robert S. Douglas at its 21st annual Seafood Buffet and Auction on Saturday, July 7.

Founder of the Black Dog Tavern and owner of the topsail schooner Shenandoah, Capt. Douglas will be the third recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award, created in 2010 to honor individuals who have significantly advanced Sail MV’s mission of maritime education. Mr. Cronkite was an early supporter of Sail MV, which provides free sailing lessons to the Island’s youth, serving as the honorary commodore at the organization’s first Vineyard Cup race.

The first recipient of the Cronkite award was artist Ray Ellis, a close friend of the late Mr. Cronkite and a collaborator with him on several sailing books. Last year’s recipient was Matthew Stackpole, who has been a leader in efforts to restore the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport.

Mr. Stackpole, who once worked as first mate aboard the Shenandoah, will introduce Captain Douglas at the dinner, event organizers said.

In a letter inviting Captain Douglas to accept the award, Peggy Schwier, president of Sail Martha’s Vineyard, described his many contributions to the Island sailing scene.

“You have celebrated our maritime heritage and you have inspired many to come aboard to build and own wooden boats. You have given school children a chance to enjoy the beauty of sailing on a historic vessel, share the camaraderie and learn the maritime history and the skills of seamanship,” the letter said.

The Seafood Buffet and Auction, a principal yearly fund-rasier which benefits Sail MV, begins at 5:30 p.m. on July 7 at the Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven. Tickets are $150.

For more information, call 508-696-7644 or visit