Photo Courtesy of Point B Realty
Martha’s Vineyard during the holidays is a special place. It’s a quieter time to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Island, complemented by festive decorations and unforgettable seasonal events. On Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, store windows are tastefully adorned with signs of the season, and a freshly trimmed Christmas tree is lit up in David Healey Square (also known as Post Office Square). In Edgartown, lights and garland line Main Street, giving even more charm to the quaint downtown. The town’s annual Christmas in Edgartown celebration features the holiday lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse over the harbor, inviting spectators to gather on the porch of the Harbor View Hotel to take in the splendor. Another memorable holiday experience is the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, located inside the Captain Cottages at the Harbor View Hotel.
Each year, hundreds of teddy bears in various sizes fill the cottage, some gathered around the dining room table for a tea party, others indulging in a bubble bath. The scene is a heartwarming one for children and adults, and represents the joy of the holiday season.
The beloved month-long event, now in its fifth enchanting year, serves as both a tradition and a fundraiser for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club (MVBGC) and its After School Programs, which provide vital services to hundreds of Island children and their families. In 2014, the Teddy Bear Suite took in a record $12,906 for the MVBGC. This year, they hope to make it $15,000. For 2015, they’ve added even more bears, allowing the public to name the largest one via a competition on Facebook.
The Harbor View Hotel, and event founder and sponsor Point B Realty, invest countless resources to pull off the event year after year: retrieving the teddy bears out of hibernation and transforming the Captain’s Cottage into a holiday haven over the course of three to four days.
Point B Owner Wendy Harman has purchased and donated the teddy bears over the years, and was inspired to recreate the Suite in Edgartown after visiting a similar event while visiting family in Seattle. The MVBGC was selected as the beneficiary given the natural fit of helping children around the holidays.
There’s no admission fee to enter, but donations are encouraged. The money from previous years has already been used to improve the game room at the MVBGC, including new paint, new carpeting, and a new television: much needed renovations that will make a big difference to the lives of many children year-round.
The Teddy Bear Suite captures the hearts and minds of its visitors and makes the holidays more magical on Martha’s Vineyard. Whether you’re spending the holidays on the Island or just popping in for a winter day trip, it promises to draw a smile.
So make a trip to the Teddy Bear Suite at the Harbor View Hotel and enjoy the sights of teddy bears and the sounds of children’s laughter, all for a good cause — which is precisely what the holidays are all about.
The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite at the Harbor View Hotel, 131 N. Water St., Edgartown. Inside the Captain Rowley Cottage. Open Friday November 27 to Wednesday December 23, Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 12pm and 4 to 6pm; Saturday 10am to 6pm; Sunday 10am to 4pm. For additional information visit mvteddybearsuite.com and harbor-view.com.