The Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard is completing its 24th year of service to Vineyard communities and residents. This has been an extremely busy and positive year for the Rotary Club. Beginning in June, new officers were selected at the annual induction ceremony held at Martha’s Vineyard Sailing Camp. The officers are Rolfe Wenner, president; Dan Larkosh, president elect; Paul Watts, vice president; Adam Wilson, treasurer; Christine Baker, secretary; Mark Luce, sergeant at arms. Board of directors are Bill Brown, Tim Madigan, Tom Rosenthal and Mike McCourt. The Rotary Club quickly became engaged in building a fantastic float for the Fourth of July parade under the chairmanship of Leo Convery. The float paid tribute to the Steamship Authority as a lifeline to the Island by creating the first paddle wheel steamship that sailed from Woods Hole to the Vineyard, the Island Home. In addition, the float also recognized all the boats that had serviced the Island beginning in the 1800s. For the second year in a row, the Murdick’s Challenge Run was successfully completed with the money raised dedicated to the youth of the Vineyard and to the charity committee.

Specific goals for 2013 were established, which are to support and develop with Rotary International finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and acceptance of our proposal at the international level; establish connections with schools through such programs as mentoring and renew a scholarship program instituted last year; establish relationships with libraries for promoting and supporting programs between Rotary and libraries; create a program for providing for Island residents, support for medical services and equipment; continue to raise funds for a variety of programs and charities with the clear understanding that all monies raised will continue to be dedicated to the Island residents and the communities of the Vineyard.

In August, under the leadership of Adam Wilson and Colleen Garrett and almost the entire Rotary Club, the annual pancake breakfast was held. It was very successful and almost $6,500 was raised to support more than 40 different charities and groups and community suppers held during the fall and winter.

At the same time, the lobster raffle under the leadership of Tom Rosenthal was under way. Several Rotarians volunteered to sell tickets and lobster hats. Almost $10,000 was raised. Tickets were sold to people from all over the United States. The winners were: first prize ($500 of fish products or 50 pounds of lobster), Lena Riddick of Dorchester; second prize ($250 or 25 pounds of lobster), Bill Shanok of Chilmark; third prize ($150 or 15 pounds of lobster), Jerry Fritz of Edgartown; and fourth prize ($100), Allison Stewart of New York, N.Y. We thank everyone who participated in purchasing tickets and thank Grace Church for allowing Rotary to sell tickets on the nights that they sold lobster rolls.

On Sept. 30, under the direction of Dee Landers and Colleen Garrett, the annual golf tournament will be held. This event produces significant revenue for Rotary and attracts many visitors from off -Island. Anyone interested in participating should contact Dee Landers at the Edgartown National Bank.

On Oct. 6, Cycle Martha’s Vineyard, a recreational ride, will take place under the chairmanship of Bill Brown. The 100-kilometer route circles the Island, traveling along the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket Sound, rolling farmlands and state forest. The 50-kilometer route, while shorter, offers a view of many of the spots and areas in the longer race. Proceeds will go to the Martha’s Vineyard Rotary Club, which utilizes the money raised for charities on-Island. For more information, contact or

These activities are just snapshots of the work and dedication of the Martha’s Vineyard Rotary Club in serving the communities and residents of the Island. We are a very active club, and even though we are relatively small, we have raised $50,000 each year which is utilized on the Island. But our club could not be as successful as it is without the support of the communities and residents of the Vineyard, including our seasonal guests. We ask for your continued support and throughout the year we will be providing updates or information on happenings of the Martha’s Vineyard Rotary Club.


Rolfe Wenner is president of the Vineyard Rotary Club. Mike McCourt is chairman of public relations and a member of the board of directors.