Cold Turkey Plunge
Nantucket Events

Local Giving for the Holidays

• by Sarah Teach •

Cold Turkey Plunge Would you call me a turkey if I told you I was going swimming with some friends in the North Atlantic on Thanksgiving Day?  Though turkeys we may be, we are turkeys with a cause.  This year marks the 12th Annual Cold Turkey Plunge, which benefits the Nantucket Atheneum’s Weezie Library for Children.  Each plunger collects donations from generous people who are too chicken to go in the water themselves, but would like to see said turkeys plunge.  All in all, the Weezie Library benefits to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars ($88,719 last year!), depending upon the volume of turkeys and the level of the chickens’ generosity.  On the day of the event, complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, and pastries will be provided by Nantucket Island Resorts, The Downyflake, and Simply with Style Catering.  Whether turkey or chicken, the Cold Turkey Plunge is a great way to give a holiday gift to our community. Read on to discover even more!

In keeping with birding season on Nantucket, supporters of science will love giving the gift of education through BarnACKle Bob the Barn Owl!  Bob is the mascot for the Maria Mitchell Association’s (MMA) campaign for the future Nantucket Aquarium and Science Center (NASC). His leg has been “banded” with an MMA-NASC bracelet, so he’s ready to be a champion for the cause.  Why a Barn Owl?  One of MMA’s citizen science research projects is the implementation of Barn Owl boxes on properties all over Nantucket. Each spring, MMA scientists, property owners, and other interested parties visit the boxes and band the baby Barn Owls.  This study provides important information about Barn Owl health, population growth and migration.  Barn Owls like their Nantucket homes and Nantucket homeowners like their Barn Owls.  If you can’t have a Barn Owl box on your property, the next best thing is to bring BarnACKle Bob home or send him to a loved one for $40.  Just call 508-228-9198 or email  Give in honor of enriching our community with the wonders of science.

Those interested in both history and home décor will find a wonderful unification of these two fields at the Nantucket Historical Association’s (NHA) annual Festival of Wreaths.  Eighty creatively crafted wreaths will be displayed in the Whaling Museum’s Peter Foulger Gallery for several days, beginning with the November 26 Preview Party.  Visitors may bid on their favorite wreaths in a silent auction that will conclude on December 1, allowing auction winners to take their wreaths home in time for the December holidays.  All proceeds benefit the NHA.  Entrance to the Festival of Wreaths is free, and raffle tickets sold at the event are also available at  Give in honor of our island’s history, and in honor of the joy that beautiful art brings to all of us.

We all love someone who is not able to get around as well as they once could.  Darcy Creech, owner of Peter Beaton Hat Studio, decided to do something for them.  Last year, she founded Nantucket Wheelers, a nonprofit that brings Nantucket’s elderly residents outdoors and into nature by way of special bikes that allow people to sit in wheelchairs as they enjoy bike rides. Community members jumped on board with Creech, who raised $35,000 in 35 days in order to purchase the bikes.  For more information on the program, visit Give in honor of your loved one with limited mobility.

All the eco-friendly flower children out there are in luck this season, too. Sustainable Nantucket has set up several levels of giving to Nantucket’s local Farm To School program.  From seeds to raised garden beds, you can give a gift in your family or friend’s name.  To order your gift, just visit, call 508-228-3399, or email  Give in honor of this little slice of earth, and of educating Nantucket’s next generation of food growers.

On Friday, December 6, art lovers will unite under one roof: Quidley & Company at 26 Main Street.  From 5-7 p.m., everyone is invited to drop by and enjoy refreshments and original art.  Artists have contributed their 8″ x 10″ works, each of which will be sold for only $125.  This annual event is called the Mystery Art Show because the works are displayed anonymously , with the artists name revealed only after purchase. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds go to the Marla Ceely Lamb Fund, a special fund that helps defray the costs of transportation and lodging for Nantucket residents who must travel off-island for cancer treatment. Give in honor of your friend or loved one who has dealt with cancer.

Articles by Date from 2012