Last week there were three dynamic events held on East Chop. The Arts Emerson program from Boston, the National NAACP and the Berkshire Bank minority business initiative all had well-attended and enthusiastic crowds at their events.

Arts Emerson provides a broad range of musical and theatrical productions in several modern theaters in Boston’s theater district. It was founded in 2010 by Robert J. Orchard, who was responding to a U.S. Census report confirming that Boston did not have a cultural institution cultivating the diversity of the arts.

The national Convention of the NAACP will be held in Boston in July of 2020. National President Derrick Johnson was on hand to encourage the Martha’s Vineyard branch and all in attendance to join them in Boston next year. Boston branch president Tanisha Sullivan brought greetings from Boston and promised all who would attend a very good time. National Board member Juan Cofield and long time Boston member Charlotte Nelson were also on hand talking up next summer in Boston.

The Union Chapel book signing for Valerie Jarrett was attended by over 400. Berkshire Bank sponsored the book event and the reception to follow. The bank is off to a fast start working on narrowing the racial income gap by announcing a financial platform to provide Friends and Family funding for minority businesses.

All three of these events were held on the sprawling grounds of Aliya and Reggie Browne’s place on East Chop. These two gracious, generous and philanthropic individuals should be applauded for their commitment to organizations and people that try to make our nation a more equitable and perfect union. Aliya balances a medical career and her religious interests, as she is both a physician and an ordained minister. Reggie is a financial wiz on Wall Street, and they also have duties as parents of their maturating children. Aliya is a wonderful trustee at Union Chapel and is part of the leadership team guiding Union into its 150th year in 2020. When you see them give thanks!

Everod And Beverly Coleman hosted their clam fest this year and entertained many from Philadelphia, including Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME congregation in the United States. The Colemans are well known on the Vineyard, as Everod attended Harvard Dental School after graduating from Howard University some years ago. Lobsters and conversation flowed from table to table.

This past Saturday the Island Inn function room below the new Nomans, adjacent to Farm Neck golf course, was the scene of an afternoon salute by over 100 to Rev. Calvin O. Butts 3rd, senior pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York city. Frank Williams, master pianist, played softly in the background while conversation was at a heightened pitch. Fried chicken topped the menu and satisfied the palate, all in preparation for the southern style peach cobbler. Crust is the key for desserts like this and delicious it was! Toni Fay, former executive at Time Warner, is now chair of the Condo Association at the Island Inn and was on hand with Trustee Steven Johnson to welcome and thank all for attending. Rev. Butts was caught in the fog between here and New York and missed most of the reception, but he was on time for a standing room only church service the next day.

August has become a month containing a blizzard of activities and events, both private and public, that have many shouting for the fall relief. Most of them are for fabulous causes or just great summer fun but are seemingly without regard for a rational distribution schedule across the month. Three, four and some times five events in a day cannot be managed by even the most gifted at event hopping and shopping. There is a crying need to have a central platform application that can at least display what has already been scheduled so that event curators can select alternative dates. Stay tuned!

Paradise on earth is the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it, as life is fleeting!

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