Last Saturday night the Oak Bluffs Union Chapel came to Edgartown and the Preservation Trust symbolically and substantively laid down the Red Carpet!

Every year the Trust throws a Patron’s Party and Auction to raise funds for one or more of their treasured historic properties. This year the beneficiary was the stored and revered Union Chapel. The event chair, Debi Crews pulled out all of the stops with her national network of friends, colleagues and business partners to support the event.

Historically, the use of the red carpet for welcoming guests is attributed to showman Sid Grauman who founded the legendary Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre, both in Los Angeles. He held the first ever movie premiere in 1922 at the Egyptian Theatre and rolled out the red carpet for the attending stars. And so did Debi Crews. She recruited friend Star Jones as the celebrity mistress of ceremonies. Ms. Jones is a lawyer, journalist, television personality, fashion designer, author and more. She is famously known as one of the first co-hosts of the popular morning talk show The View.

Ms. Star did a terrific job of managing the evening’s program and joining famed auctioneer John Terrio bringing the crowd to a bidding frenzy for the cause. Key financial patrons included the Union Chapel Educational and Cultural Institute, Lloyd and Teri Trotter, Bob and Debi Crews, Luis Penalver and Elizabeth Davis, Shani Waugh and Melonie Parker, Al and Thelma Johnson, Larry Morse and Pam McKoin, Jerome and Stephanie Russell as well as Eric and Jennifer Turner.

The financial goal for Union Chapel was $175,000 and the contributions and auction items overachieved for a total of $238,000 to help with repairs, restoration and complete access ramps and exterior landscaping. One of the surprise gifts was the winner of several Taylor Swift concert tickets donated the tickets back to the Trust to be auctioned off again. Amazing generosity.

The Union Chapel family on hand to celebrate and say thank you included chapel Trustees Al Johnson, Kevin Myatt and Ann Stewart, Minister of Music Bill Peek and chapel administrator Kharma Finley Wallace. As a long time trustee and now as President Emeritus of Union Chapel I was especially gratified at the support and success of the event.

Embrace Boston will be holding several celebratory events this week in Boston, commemorating the nation’s Juneteenth holiday. One of their first events will include honoring L. Duane and Deborah Jackson along with Keith and Angela Motley bestowing on these two Oak Bluffs couples the Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King awards. Congrats to all involved.

This week Union Chapel Trustees unveiled wall plaques listing all of their pew sponsors and major contributors this week. This long overdue tribute recognizes individuals, corporations and organizations that were an integral part of the organ restoration, installation of the technology infrastructure and new pews in the main sanctuary.

The NAACP reminds all that their third annual Juneteenth chefs multicultural dinner will be help on Sunday, June 23 at the PA Club from 4 to 8 p.m.. Tickets are $75. During that same afternoon the Marie B. Allen Creative Arts Contest winners will also be announced.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum team led by Heather Seger is diligently preparing for their sold-out annual Evening of Discovery to include cocktails, live suction and a plated dinner.

A final reminder of all the Juneteenth Celebrations held this weekend curated by Kahina Van Dyke and Inkwell Haven properties. There is a film documentary set for Friday night at Union Chapel.

Life on earth is living the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it as life is fleeting!

Rest in Peace, Randall Edward Taylor.