The Nantucket Boys & Girls Club Tim Russsert Summer Groove is an incredible event as the community comes together every year to support the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club. Since it’s inception in 2002, the event has grown to become a highlight of the summer social calendar by featuring a sparkling evening of fine food, fun music and incredible generosity with over 500 attendees.
Every year the Tim Russert Spirit of Hope Award is given in honor of Tim Russert’s memory. He and his family were always huge supporters of the Club and his wife, Maureen Orth, comes every year and speaks at the event. This year we heard heartfelt words from Robin and EJ Harvey, the recipients of the Tim Russert Spirit of Hope Award. In addition to catering the event every year with their team they have contributed to the club throughout the years in many ways. Their kids attended the club, and Robin coached basketball and volunteered at the Club moving through the ranks as they grew up and eventually coached at the high school level. She was also on the Board of Directors for many years and then on the Advisory Board. They have been involved in every fundraiser the Club has ever held; especially the clambakes held in the past and the Summer Groove. Everyone agreed that Tim Russert would have been delighted to see them receive this much deserved award.
We also heard from a mother and son, Heather and DJ Francis. They were chosen to speak as he is a great kid who attends the club and his mother has always been a strong advocate of the Club. Grace Hull spoke as she was a Club member growing up on Nantucket and she shared her experience about how it helped shaper her future.
The club is a safe and positive place for kids to go after school and allows many parents to work though out the week with peace of mind knowing their children are in good hands.The Nantucket Boys & Girls Club is a very special place as they provide a variety of programs for kids ranging from sports to homework clubs to community field trips all over the island. Over 600 kids participate in the club activities throughout the school year. The cost to members is only $30 per school year while the cost to the club is approximately $2,000 per child. The Club relies on membership fees, grants, fundraising events and donations to keep the doors open and to sustain their wonderful programs. The Summer Groove is their largest fundraising event though out the year.
I have been able to photograph this very special event for many years and I am always amazed at the turnout and incredible production. Year after year the team from Nantucket Island Events does a wonderful job with this event. Each year Rafael Osona leads a high energy auction and presentation that encourages people to raise their paddles and donate to this great cause. Jerry Bennet and The Sultans of Swing kept the crowd dancing till the last moment and everyone enjoyed the evening!
I have several friends who work at the club and the executive director, Phyllis McInerney, is a dear friend of mine. Hats off to the incredible team of people who work at the Club day in and day out to ensure the youth of Nantucket has a safe and positive place to grow up and learn life lessons.