The 37th annual Art Buchwald Possible Dreams Auction will be held on Sunday, July 26 at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Edgartown. This year’s auction will celebrate Norman Bridwell, the beloved creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog and long time Edgartown resident, who died in December.

“It’s about the nicest thing the Vineyard could do I think,” said Norma Bridwell, his widow. She said Mr. Bridwell was involved in the auction since the beginning, and that they have experienced both sides of community service.

“There are awfully good people working with that organization,” she said.

Liza May, chair of the Possible Dreams Auction, first encountered Mr. Bridwell at the auction two years ago.

“He came up to me and said, ‘You look like someone who could help. You might not know me but I’m Norman Bridwell,’” said Ms. May. She explained how he said he wanted to do more to help the auction.

Norman and Norma Bridwell. — Peter Simon

This year the program and invitation covers feature a watercolor by Mr. Bridwell.

“Typically the cover of the programs and invitations is a scene of the tents or just the logo, and I said, I want to do something different and think outside the box,” said Ms. May.

The auction is Martha’s Vineyard Community Services’s way of raising money for unfunded care, covering the gaps not covered by state or federal aid. Auctioning off donated “dreams” helps support the six core services of MVCS that serve more than 6,000 year-round and seasonal residents. These include Connect to End Violence, Disability Services, Early Childhood Programs, Island Counseling Center, Island Wide Youth Collaborative and The Thrift Shop, which both raises money and provides items at no cost for those in need. Last year, the auction raised just over $462,000. This year’s goal is $475,000.

Since 1979, the auction has been offering various celebrity dreams from sailing with Walter Cronkite to a private performance by Carly Simon, two past dreams that Mrs. Bridwell remembers fondly.

“One of my favorite things used to be sailing with Walter Cronkite on his boat, because he was so proud of that boat,” said Mrs. Bridwell. “I think he thought it was a prize for the boat to be bid on.”

One of the big dreams this year is ‘To Norman and his Big Red Dog, With Love’ where the winner and guests will gather with children’s book authors Marc Brown, Kate Feiffer and Richard Michelson at Good Dog Goods for a picnic provided by Chef Carolyn King. They will also receive a collection of autographed books from Ms. Feiffer, a stuffed Clifford dog for each child and an original watercolor illustration from a Clifford book.

This year it is also possible to win a VIP trip to a taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers, a special Consenses art experience with Sally Taylor and an old fashioned lobster bake for 20. In total, there will be 21 dreams available in the live auction. Also available for bidders is a silent auction, a raffle and, new this year, a super silent auction.

Raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $25 with five prizes available. The grand prize winner will enjoy a romantic getaway with an overnight stay at the Charlotte Inn and dinner for two at The Terrace. Winners could also walk away with five gift certificates for a taste of the Vineyard (Lookout Tavern, The Galley, Rockfish, Home Port and Orange Peel Bakery), a jewelry set by Stefanie Wolf Designs, a five hour fishing trip with Captain Grunty, and a gift certificate for two planter arrangements from Working Earth.

Jimmy Tingle will once again be the host and auctioneer. — Peter Simon

The raffle was introduced last year and raised $5,000 for MVCS.

There will be 44 silent auction prizes and 11 super silent prizes. One super silent auction prize is a one-of-a-kind Clifford-inspired watch handmade on Island by Rubin Cronig.

Though called a celebrity auction, Possible Dreams is about so much more than the rich and famous, said Ms. May.

“What I want to capture is the essence of this Island and why we love it so much,” said Ms. May. “To me everyone is a celebrity here, the auction truly celebrates that. Especially as we celebrate Norman Bridwell. He was a celebrity, but a very humble and gentle soul, and didn’t consider himself a celebrity.”

Ms. May listed dreams that feature Islanders such as Buddy Vanderhoop as examples of how celebrity means more than just world-wide recognition.

Comedian Jimmy Tingle will return for his third year of hosting the event.

“Sometimes he gets into something very different and it’s great to see where it goes,” said Mrs. Bridwell.

Mr. Tingle said he loves when the bidding gets competitive. “It’s going back and forth, driving the price higher, and the crowd’s engaged and you get to that point of yelling, going once, going twice, SOLD! And people applaud and laugh and everyone feels good. The person who wins feels good, the people engaged feel good, the volunteers and organizers feel good.”

“I’m really excited about doing it this year. Every year we improve on the last year,” continued Mr. Tingle. “I’m excited to be back on the Vineyard and doing my best to fill the enormous shoes of Art Buchwald.”

The event will be catered by Meg Leland of Vineyard Haute Cuisine with beverages donated by Offshore Ale. The Joanne Cassidy Band will perform while attendees peruse the silent auction tables and enjoy refreshments. The live auction begins at 5 p.m. and is followed by a performance by Nate D’Angelo, a young local musician.

The 37th annual Art Buchwald Possible Dreams auction, which benefits Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, will take place on Sunday, July 26, at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort. The gates open at 3:30 p.m. and the live auction starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at or at the gate. A dinner follows at 7:30 p.m. at the Lure Grill; limited tickets are available for $225 each.