Martha’s Vineyard Community Service’s annual Possible Dreams auction celebrates its 40th anniversary on Sunday at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Katama. Auction chairman Liza May and Community Services development coordinator Jess Rogers are painting the festivities red. Ruby red to be exact. 

Rubies are the theme of this year’s auction, as the gems signify passion and dedication and are often used to celebrate 40th anniversaries. There will be special food and drink items, ticket packages and of course, live and silent auction dreams. Many will tie back to the anniversary jewel.

“First we have the ruby anniversary ticket which is a specially priced ticket that is $40,” Ms. May said. 

The ruby ticket grants guests admission to the event and a refreshment ruby bracelet adorned with five tabs that can be used for any food or beverage under the tent. Regular admission is still priced at $25, but Ms. May and Ms. Rogers are encouraging guests to take advantage of the anniversary deal. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Community Services website, or at

the event when doors open at 3:30 p.m.

“We definitely want people to try to arrive closer to the 3:30 p.m. end of things when we open the gates because for that hour and a half we’re going to have our silent auction bidding going,” Ms. Rogers said. 

Dreams range from Bruins tickets to a trip to Ireland to a Saturday Night Live taping with Seth Myers and many more. — Ray Ewing

While the auction began in 1979, Community Services has been enhancing the lives of Island residents since the early 1960s with comprehensive health, human and education services. Programs like Connect To End Violence, the Island Wide Youth Collaborative, MV Family Center, and the organization’s outpatient mental health clinic serve the Island’s year-round population and summer visitors.

“To me, the beauty of Community Services is that it not only serves full-time residents, but it also serves part-time residents, seasonal residents and even visitors,” Ms. May said. “Unfortunately people are faced with crises even on vacation.”

“The clientele runs the gamut of people with very well-to-do means to people who might need to take advantage of subsidies,” Ms. Rogers added.

And Ms. Rogers and Ms. May say it is events like the Possible Dreams Auction that allow the organization to continue to serve people from all economic backgrounds.

Sixty one Silent Dream packages will be up for bid between 3:30 and 4:45 p.m. Nineteen Super Silent Dreams will also fall into the silent auction format, with bidding open until 6 p.m.

“They are really Vineyard iconic packages that we auction off and that’s all due to the local donors who contribute to us,” Ms. Rogers said. “It’s neighbors helping neighbors.”

The silent dreams include a private tour and hayride at the Farm Institute or a 10-class package to The Yoga Barn in West Tisbury. Super Silent Dreams include an afternoon or sunset sail with Black Dog Tall Ships, cooking lessons for five with Jan Buhrman of Kitchen Porch Caterers, or a luxury beach day courtesy of Island Spirit Kayak.

 Guests will raise their paddles for 24 live auction dreams, one of which will be awarded for just $100 to this year’s golden ticket winner.

Action gets started at 3:30 p.m. at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort on Katama. — Ray Ewing

“The packages you have the option of choosing on the golden ticket are otherwise going to be sold on the live stage for thousands of dollars,” Ms. Rogers said. A hundred golden tickets will be sold at $100 each, with one winner picked. Prizes include a trip to Kinvara, Ireland for six and a private fishing charter with Buddy Vanderhoop, among others.

At 5 p.m., guests will be ushered into the adjoining tent to be welcomed by Ms. May and Community Services executive director Julie Fay who will introduce the fund-a-need.

“It’s a special fundraising portion before we start the live auction where all of the donations go directly to a mission and are 100 per cent tax deductible for the bidder,” Ms. Rogers said.

This year’s mission focuses on suicide prevention and awareness as well as substance use disorder. Island Intervention Center director David Araujo will speak on both issues and the impact on the Island community. Auctioneer Sherry Truhlar will follow Mr. Araujo’s remarks with a paddle call, encouraging guests to donate. Ms. Rogers said funds raised during the fund-a-need and the auctions will not simply benefit one Community Services program but the entire range of services offered.

“It’s because every program of Community Services . . . their work, in some way, prevents suicide,” Ms. Rogers said.

Ms. Fay concurred, citing statistics that show the Cape and Islands have the highest rates of suicide in Massachusetts. One of the services most in demand at Community Services are the counseling programs, she said, which are the only mental health services on the Island that accept Mass Health and treat people who are uninsured.

“The reason it’s so important and our board takes such an active role in fundraising is that if we were to lose our outpatient mental health clinic license, that means the entire Island would go to a cash economy for behavioral health services,” Ms. Fay explained.

She also stressed the importance of the auction to help cover overhead.

“The auction is critical to our ability to provide the amount of service that we do in a quality fashion,” Ms. Fay said.

Ms. May and Ms. Rogers voiced their agreement.

“No one is turned away for services here,” Ms. May said. “If you can or cannot pay it does not matter. You’re never turned away.”

“And that’s really what the funding is supporting,” Ms. Rogers added. “Making sure that type of care is going to the people who need it.”

The Possible Dreams Auction will take place on Sunday June 29, from 3:30 to 7:15 p.m. at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Katama. The auction will be followed by an after party at the Dunes. To purchase tickets, visit