Possible Dreams Auction History
The Possible Dreams Auction is the single largest fundraiser for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. An island tradition since 1979, people bid on articles otherwise unavailable for sale – an eclectic array of outings with the famous – as well as homespun Vineyard items, which continues to this day.
In 1980, Art Buchwald agreed to take the podium and for many years consistently inspired all involved to greater heights in support of those in need on Martha’s Vineyard. Over the last few years, comedian Jimmy Tingle has emceed the event with great success.
The Possible Dreams Auction quickly became an Island tradition and grew at a truly amazing rate. Throughout the years, celebrities have offered services and events that couldn’t be duplicated anywhere. In 1980, Walter Cronkite offered a sail around the Vineyard that brought $225; 21 years later, that same Dream raised $20,000. Longtime Auction friend Carly Simon donated a Dream Dance that raised $85,000, in 1993, she offered two competing bidders with separate private performances at her home that added a total of $162,000, and in 2001 she sang a melody of everyone’s favorites as a way to entice people to bid on a Dream recording session that ultimately fetched $55,000.
Along the way, successful bidders have lunched with Katharine Graham at the Washington Post; walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with David McCullough; toured the set of Ghostbusters with Dan Aykryod, attended premieres of movies directed by Doug Liman, took in games and arenas for the Boston Red Sox and Washington Capitals, spent afternoons painting with Allen Whiting, and had their DNA tested and explained by Skip Gates. Over the years, winners have visited and performed on the sets of numerous TV shows, traveled to amazing locales, lunched and supped with some of the country’s most interesting characters, enjoyed concerts, theater performances, behind-the-scene museum tours, and award shows unavailable to the public, enjoyed sailing and fishing trips, posed for portraits with the finest of photographers, and participated in all manner of Island-based adventures.
Over the past thirty-eight years, the Possible Dreams Auction Committee has planned and hosted this annual event that has now raised more than $11,000,000 for Community Services. The funds raised by the Auction help to support the services provided by the programs of our Community Services, but not funded by insurance, Massachusetts State funding, or other sources. The programs include: CONNECT to end violence, Disability Services, Early Childhood Programs, Island Counseling Center the Island Wide Youth Collaborative and the Thrift Shop.