2011-08-18 / Front Page

Chamber to throw annual fundraiser Saturday

BY KEN SHANE

The Jamestown Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual fundraiser on Saturday night, Aug. 20. The site for the 10th annual event will be the Jamestown Community Farm, and proceeds from the evening will go to benefit the farm.

The event will be held beneath a 40-by-120-foot tent on land that has been specially prepared at the farm. Beneath the tent there will be a festive evening of dining, drinking, dancing and community spirit.

This year’s fundraiser will have a “Tuscan Night” theme, and will feature a Tuscan buffet provided by the Chopmist Charlie’s “Chuckmobile.” All of the food will be cooked on site, and the menu will include passed hors d’oeuvres, pizza and pastas. It will also include vegetables from the community farm. Admission includes complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks and desserts from Spinnakers and the Island Scoop.

According to Jill Hubbard, president of the Chamber of Commerce, “Every year we put on a fundraiser to benefit one of our charities or farms. We raise funds for whatever we feel the need is. This year it’s at the community farm. Our goal this year is to raise enough money to help them run the farm and to complete their barn.”

Last year’s event was held at Watson Farm. Over $8,000 was raised to help rebuild a wall for the farm on North Main Road. “It’s nice to see that the money goes to a really good project, and everybody can drive by and see where the money goes,” Hubbard said. Past beneficiaries of the evening include the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association, Fort Getty, Fox Hill Farm and the Jamestown Windmill.

Slippery Sneakers, a zydeco Cajun roots band, will perform once again, promising an evening of energetic dancing for an anticipated crowd of about 300 people. “We had the band last year and everyone just loved them,” Hubbard said. “I think that’s going to be a big draw because everyone had a great time. It’s a very unique band.”

The evening will also include a si- lent auction and a live auction. The live auction will feature bidding on a stay at a home in Tuscany that is owned by a local couple. Local businesses donate to the auctions or provide sponsorships for the event.

“We get a lot of local people every year because everyone looks forward to this event every year,” Hubbard added. “It is kind of like the summer bash in Jamestown. There are also campers from Fort Getty, people who follow the band, and people from other farms.”

The Jamestown Community Farm is a volunteer organization that grows food on a 17-acre farm to help feed people in need. The farm delivers food to soup kitchens and pantries in Providence, Charlestown, Newport, Peace Dale and Jamestown. Some vegetables are also sold to the public to raise operating income for the farm.

“We’re really glad that they picked the Jamestown Community Farm to hold their annual night,” said Farm Manager Bob Sutton. “It’s exciting to us and it give us a chance to let people see what the farm is about. That field is a very beautiful place and people will get a sense of the aesthetics of that entire area. So we’re happy.”

Sutton has specific plans for the money that will be donated to the farm. “It’s our sense right now that whatever we get will go toward finishing up the barn, specifically the photo-voltaic electrical power, the cistern and some of the site work.”

“What’s so great about this event is that everyone pulls together,” Hubbard said. “Jack’s Electric will light up the whole field. We have people that do the beer and wine run. We have people donating ice. Everyone has their job, and they’ve done it for many years. Honestly I think we’ve had two meetings and it’s all done. It truly is a community event.”

Hubbard looks forward to the challenges facing the Chamber of Commerce in the coming months. “Times are tough for all the businesses here in Jamestown,” she said. “We’re hoping to bring people into Jamestown so they can spend the day, eat in our restaurants, and shop in our shops in order to help the merchants here. Jamestown doesn’t have a lot of places to sleep, so they’re mostly day-trippers.”

In October the Lynx Privateer will arrive at the Conanicut Marina for a three-day stay. The tall ship was built in 1997 inspired by the original Lynx Privateer, which took part in the War of 1812. Hubbard hopes that the ship will attract school groups to tour the ship and spend some money in town.

The Chamber of Commerce’s “Tuscan Night” fundraiser begins at 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for the event are $65 per person and are available at various locations in Jamestown including Baker’s Pharmacy, Conanicut Marine Services, the Purple Door Bead Shop, the Island Scoop and Cathryn Jamieson Salon. Tickets are also available at the farm on the night of the event.

The Jamestown Community Farm is located at 231 East Shore Road on the corner of Eldred Avenue.

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