One of the amazing things about living in a small community is the fact that if you want something to happen, you can usually make it so.

Martha's Vineyard Film Center

My friend Karen Bruno Giannakopoulos is a mover and a shaker. A female entrepreneur who is working towards her personal goals, and is also helping others along the way. She saw the film, Dream, Girl when it premiered in New York City in 2016.

Dream, Girl Documentary Martha's Vineyard Film Center

Dream, Girl is documentary film about a dynamic group of female entrepreneurs and their journey, struggles and successes. With a large portion of CEO’s and business icons that are known throughout America being male, Dream, Girl highlights the growing success of women in business, creating their own companies, and having their voice be heard.

KarenSince seeing the movie, she knew it had to come to Martha’s Vineyard. She had met the director of the film, Erin Bagwell, while in New York, and they talked about having the film be shown on the Vineyard.

Things got busy, Karen and her husband, Nelson, had a baby. She was working on her own entrepreneurial endeavors, and living life on the Island. Erin reached out to her about the film recently. Wondering if there was still an interest.

Of course there was. This powerful film that encourages strength and belief had to come to the Vineyard. Karen had originally reached out to Richard Paradise from the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, but at this point she needed help in making it happen.

India Rose the executive director and founder of C.E.O., Creative Entrepreneur with Opportunities

Karen reached out to India Rose, the executive director and founder of C.E.O., Creative Entrepreneur with Opportunities. C.E.O. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help the financial and economic growth of entrepreneurs with a focus on women empowerment and the Island’s youth.

Richard Paradise Martha's Vineyard Film Center

India was in support Karen’s idea, and worked to find a sponsor to bring the film to Martha’s Vineyard. She spoke with Dina BenDavid about sponsorship. Dina is the founder/owner of Enhance MV, and empowering woman is something near and dear to her heart, and in line with her goals with her business. She agreed to help, and the plan was made in less than 24 hours!

Enhance MV

Karen reached out to a group of women to see the movie with her. Women who are starting their own businesses, have their own business, stay at home moms, art teachers, and women who work for others. A dynamic, diverse group of Island women all gathering together to watch Dream, Girl.

Dream. Girl Screening At Martha's Vineyard Film Center

Not only would the movie Dream, Girl be shown, but there would be a reception beforehand and a Q & A after. During the reception, women gathered together, talking about their work, sipping on wine and sharing laughs. It was a great way to preface the movie.

Dream, Girl Documentary About Women IN The Workplace Screening On Martha's Vineyard

Not quite knowing what to expect, I was so moved and so hopeful from watching Dream, Girl. The amazing women whose stories were shared were so inspiring. Women from all sorts of backgrounds and ethnicities, some who knew they wanted to have their own business since birth, some who discovered their passion later in life.

Women tried, succeeded, failed, and learned about themselves and what impossible things they could achieve. The film offers support and hope for women who want to do what they are passionate about. It was truly incredible. When women support each other, the dynamic outcome and the successes are quite remarkable.

After the film, the applause was significant. I guarantee that at least one woman moves forward on her business from seeing that film.

India & Erica

But we were not done yet. India and MV Allston owner, Erica Belle-Williams, took the stage to talk about their journey, the struggles and wins about being women entrepreneurs. The audience asked questions, and India and Erica were an amazing.

After the film and Q & A, our group was pumped up! We had so much to discuss. So, we all agreed to go to The Lookout for a beer and share what we learned, our thoughts, and our dreams. It was great to be able to talk about it, and we all agreed that Dream, Girl needs to be shown again, and include the Island’s youth too. Also, it’s a great film to help encourage women to break through their “glass ceiling.”

Dream. Girl Discusses Documentary After Screening Martha's Vineyard Film Center

Yes, the movie was incredible and impactful, but I feel like the moral to the story is that you can manifest your wants and dreams. Karen wanted to share this film where she lives, share the message. She was able to do just that. Having a dream, no matter how big or small is worth working on.

Karen finding a place to show the movie, a partner to help market it, and get a sponsor, just shows you how much of a difference you can make, together, here on Martha’s Vineyard.

I think about this so often as I meet so many people who make a difference on the Island, and who follow their dreams here. There are so many successful small business owners in this 20 by 9 piece of land, and there’s room for more.

Author’s Note: How lucky I am to work for a small business women owner, Wendy Harman, who is not only successful but is always extremely generous.

You can learn more about Dream, Girl, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, and C.E.O. on Facebook. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.

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Martha's Vineyard Beach Walks Lucy Vincent Beach Chilmark Vineyard Bucket List

The beaches of Martha’s Vineyard are easily one of the island’s top attractions and biggest draws for visitors and locals alike. Not only are the Vineyard beaches great in the Summer, but they’re equally magical in the off-season — and a lot less crowded too.

Lambert's Cove Beach In West Tisbury Martha's Vineyard Bucket List

Beaches are everywhere on Martha’s Vineyard, as they ring the entire perimeter of the island, and they combine all shapes and sizes, from sandy to rocky, calm to wavy, north shore to south shore, and many other flavors in between.

Lucy Vincent Beach Chilmark Off-Season Beach Walks Martha's Vineyard Bucket List

Several of the best beaches on Martha’s Vineyard are town-owned, and that means during the busy Summer months, they’re only open to residents and renters. In the off-season, everyone is once again welcome.

Martha's Vineyard Bucket List: Beach Walk At Lucy Vincent Beach Chilmark

And that is the case for our two top pick beach walks in the off-season: Chilmark’s Lucy Vincent Beach, and Lambert’s Cove Beach in West Tisbury. Our own Guinevere Cramer is your Vineyard Bucket List guide.

Both Lucy Vincent Beach and Lambert’s Cove Beach are open to all beach walkers and nature lovers from early Fall thru late Spring. Both are dog friendly as well, during the daytime hours, which is not the case in-season.

Martha's Vineyard Beach Walks Lambert's Cove West Tisbury

If you’ve rented a Chilmark Summer vacation rental from Point B, or a Summer Rental in West Tisbury, ask your Point B agent how you can obtain a beach sticker.

Martha's Vineyard Bucket List: Beach Walk Lambert's Cove Beach West Tisbury

For everyone else, more information about Lucy Vincent Beach, hours, and in-season beach stickers and passes, is available here,  and more information about beach stickers and passes for Lambert’s Cove is available here.

Martha's vineyard Bucket List Video Library

The Vineyard Bucket List video series is our growing curated collection of the best and most quintessential experiences on Martha’s Vineyard. Whether it’s first visit or your 20th, we’ve got a library full of magical discoveries. See the entire Vineyard Bucket List library.

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It’s almost that time of year again! Time for the splendor and joy of Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, celebrating its 7th year of creating holiday memories for so many people.

Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser Boys & Girls Club Healthy Happy Kids

However, the Teddy Bear Suite is so much more than an event. It is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club’s Healthy Happy Kids (H2K). Last year, this event raised $35,000 to help launch and fund H2K which provides free, substantial snack to kids in the After School Program, free lunch and snack during the Summer program and more.

Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser Supports Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club

Healthy Happy Kids serves hundreds of Island children each year, and the need is growing. Last year, the Island learned just how severe childhood hunger was here, and people and business did so much to help. However, we need to do even more.

The Island Shuffle

It’s amazing what a mother can do for her children. Meet Stacey Smith, a young, dynamic mother, who grew up on the Island, and is too familiar with the Island sHuffle. If you don’t know, the Island shuffle is when families have to move repeatedly from house-to-house, with one form of housing in the Winter and another during the Summer.

Marthas Vineyard Boys & Girls Club Stacey Smith

It can be easy to find an affordable Winter rental, but come Summer, it’s almost impossible. Stacey found herself in that situation. Last year, after she had to leave her rental with her mom, and twin 6 1/2 year old daughters, Maddison and Anabelle, she found herself with no options.

Maddison & Anabelle Smith Get Help From Martha's Vineyard Boyc & Girls ClubHer only solution, a tiny camper in a friend’s backyard. Four people, one small camper, with limited room. Imagine a mini-fridge for meals for four. How does a mother prepare and make three meals a day for her children when this is your home?

Every meal was a challenge, and if you know little kids, they are always hungry. Can you imagine the joy Stacey felt when she went to register her little girls for camp at the Boys & Girls Club, and found out that snacks and lunch were provided, daily?

Stacey and her girls Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite fundraiser Boys & Girls Club Healthy Happy Kids Lunch & Snack Program

The relief was palpable. Lunches are always tough for kids, but the lack of space their family was working with made it even harder. Stacey could drop off her girls and go to work not ,worrying about the girls having enough to eat. Each day they had the chance to have good, healthy food throughout the day, and were big fans of the sandwiches and fruit, according to Stacey.

With the help of the Boys & Girls Club, Maddison and Anabelle were able to have a fun, dynamic Summer, while Stacey was working, and mom got to worry a lot less.

Flash forward a couple of months of super fun camp for the girls, and now, Stacey works at the Boys & Girls Club as its administrative assistant. She has a full-time job with benefits, has a rental home, for now. Come June, she is back to square one.

However, in the meantime, she is the happiest she has been in long time. With her new job, comes benefits which are so important. Her daughter, Maddison, has challenging health concerns, and has already had 14 surgeries, with many more in her future. She also gets to see her girls after school when they come to Boys & Girls Club for the After School Program.

Her girls come from the West Tisbury School happy and excited. They get to see their mom, and have a healthy snack to hold them over until their mom or dad take them home. Also, Stacey appreciates the level of inclusion the Boys & Girls Club offers. Maddison does not feel like her disabilities limit her from having fun. Instead, the staff works hard to make her and all the kids feel safe, and have the chance to have fun.

This is just one story from one family who has had their life bettered from Healthy Happy Kids and the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club.

The Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club

There are so many more stories from families on the Island — ones that may not have such a bright spot in them, but by donating to the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser, you can help continue the fight against childhood hunger.

Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraise Directly Supports Healthy Happy Kids Helping End Childhood Hunger On Martha's Vineyard

Healthy Happy Kids now costs more than $50,000 a year, and that number is growing. The Boys & Girls Club has had a 274% increase in enrollment, since last year. The need for affordable after school childcare is so great, and the need to prevent children from going hungry grows too.

With the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, we goal this year is to raise as much money as possible, and continue to let kids focus on being kids, and not worry about where their next meal is coming from.

ClubI also wanted to share with you, that this second year of Healthy Happy Kids has really led to some great successes at the Boys & Girls Club. There is less of separation of the “haves and have nots,” there have been less behavioral issues with children, and the Homework room has seen an increase in use. It’s amazing what food can do for children.

Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser

Another great result is the creation of the weekend meal program. With the help of Martha’s Vineyard Rotary Club, children have the opportunity to bring home a backpack with meals for the entire weekend. It’s a wonderful way to provide children with the chance to have food, not just during the week, but also all weekend long.

Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club Happy Healthy Kids Funded By Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser

In addition, local farms and businesses help when they can. Sometimes Island Grown Schools or Morning Glory Farm has produce that they offer for children to be able to bring home.

Focusing on the prevention of childhood hunger has been a huge undertaking for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, but it has proven to be so helpful and life changing. Kids that are not hungry can just be kids, and feel a little freer.

The magic of the Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite

The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite will be open in December at the Harbor View Hotel’s Captain’s Cottage #20. Get ready to see all your favorite teddy bears and meet new ones too.

Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite 2017 Hours

December 1st – 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

December 2nd – 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

December 3rd – 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Christmas in Edgartown

December 8th – 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

December 9th – 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

December 10th – 10:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Final Weekend

December 15th – 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

December 16th – 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

December 17th – 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Website Launch

You can learn more about The Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club on Facebook. For more information about the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, the mvteddybearsuite.com website and online donation site will be available shortly. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.

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We all know Josh Aronie’s The Food Truck. It’s become a staple for many people for lunch. But did you know that you can enjoy the fabulous Food Truck’s food in three different places on the Island.

The Food Truck On Martha's Vineyard Chef Josh Aronie Edgartown & Chilmark Menemsha Food Trucks

Monday through Friday, you will find one truck at the Airport Business Park in Edgartown. Just pull right in to entrance closest to Oak Bluffs, head straight, and you can’t miss it. It’s like a colorful flower in the midst of so much grey.

This particular truck used to belong to Mangku, however, the owner Jackie Foster is now focusing on motherhood. Now it is the second food truck for Josh.

The Food truck Menemsha Take Out Food To Go Martha's Vineyard DiningSame great food as The Food Truck in Menemsha, by the Homeport, but less of a drive for us down-Island folks. I should also mention that there will usually be a daily special offered only at this location.

However, The Food Truck at the airport park now has a Brazilian lunch plate on the menu which changes. A great addition to the menu especially rice and bean dishes in the cooler weather. I like an alternative to sandwiches and salads.

The Food Truck TFT Burger Martha's Vineyard

However, you know the TFT Burger is kind of the bee’s knees! I also like the falafel. I must admit that I sometimes will just get a bag of fries for a meal. I always feel guilty after, but I think the fries are just so good.

The food that you find at The Food Truck is such good quality and so delicious, you can’t go wrong with anything you order.

The Food Truck

Both trucks are open Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., perfect lunch hours.

The Food Truck Martha's Vineyard Winter Breakfast LunchOK so now that you know the weekday gigs, did you know that you can get The Food Truck on Saturday too?

The Food Truck is at the West Tisbury Winter Farmer’s Market at the Ag Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and you can get BREAKFAST there! I love Josh’s breakfast. I used to really enjoy breakfast from the Menemsha Cafe from back in the day.

Think breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and most of the regular truck menu, like those awesome, kid favorite, lemon rosemary fries. Yum!

I am yet to visit the Winter Farmer’s Market, but when I do, I am going hungry!

Also don’t forget that during the week, you don’t even need to wait for your food. You can call or text one of the trucks and your food will be ready for you:

Menemsha – 774-563-4498

Airport Truck – 508-560-5883

Thank You Veterans 

As a special thank you to our Island Veterans, Josh is offering free lunch to Veterans on Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 10th. A nice way to show appreciation for those who have given so much to not only our Island, but our country. A great idea Josh! Thank you for doing this for those who have served!

Martha's Vineyard Chef Josh Aronie The Food Truck Menemsha & Edgartown

You can learn more about The Food Truck(s) and specials on Facebook. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.

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