Monday, October 5, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer
Although the fourth annual Hingham Maritime Center Harbor Feast Row-2-Go fundraiser on October 24 will look and feel differently from the past three events due to the pandemic, organizers have plans for a big celebration featuring a socially-distanced Ergathon, a COVID-style friendly feast, as well as a virtual Aldous Collins Band concert.
While past events kicked off with a cocktail hour followed by a raw bar, creative food stations, and live music, this year's fundraising celebration will start off with an Ergathon 5K Challenge for youth and adults, beginning at 7 a.m. at Hingham Harbor, and then later in the day, delicious "to go" meals ordered ahead of time from local restaurants, culminating with the livestream concert. There will also be a virtual performance by Hingham residents Robin and Matt Teague.
The entire community is welcome to participate in what is sure to be a fun-filled event during a challenging time!
"With all the bad news we're hearing about out there, this will be a positive, happy event that people can look forward to," HMC board member Liza MacKinnon told the Hingham Anchor.
She and fellow board members gave a lot of thought to what would be the best way to host this year's event, desiring to have a dining component but not wanting to ask already struggling restaurants for donations.
"In the past the Harbor Feast was a success because restaurants and chefs donated their time and food," said board member Sharon Whitlock. "Besides our hardworking volunteers, they were the backbone of the event. Without their support we would have been unable to raise enough funds."
After several brainstorming sessions, board members came up with a virtual concept involving a "to go" meal component, with the proceeds split between participating restaurants and HMC, which are all struggling at this time but trying hard to keep their spirits while continuing to provide high-quality meals for their customers.
"We're excited about the community-building aspect," Whitlock said. "The more restaurants that join in, the better! We're hoping this event will take off in a big way, because Hingham residents really rally around causes."
MacKinnon said she's thrilled that so many restaurateurs are participating: "Everyone is in this together. In the words of one restaurant owner, 'The more the merrier.'"
After pre-ordering meals from one or more of their favorite participating restaurants the day before, participants will pick up their food, which comes with a swag bag full of fun items.
The menus will vary among the different restaurants, with a wide range of prices so everyone can participate. Hingham, Cohasset, Hull, and Quincy restaurants have enthusiastically joined this worthy effort.
Dinners for Two Among Offerings
Ron Vale, who owns the Corner Stop Eatery in Cohasset with his wife, Rudy, said one of the reasons he's so enthusiastic about being part of this year's Harbor Feast is the pleasure he gets every time he drives past HMC, with beautiful views of the water and people rowing and sailing, when he travels through the Hingham Rotary.
Corner Stop will offer dinners for two, including hippy-dip salads and other tasty items. Vale has high praises for the fundraiser organizers. "They are working so hard in such a difficult time to create an event that is engaging, interactive, and fun," he said.
Courtney Doyle, owner of Clandestine Kitchen in Duxbury, is hoping that many of her Hingham customers will order a meal "to go" that night from one or more of the participating restaurants. She's expecting the event to be a huge success. "HMC is such an important part of Hingham, " she said. "I think this is a great idea. It gives individuals and families a chance to support the restaurants—and an organization—that they love."
Doyle, through her membership in Eat South Shore—which was created in partnership with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce to work with local restaurateurs to bring awareness of the amazing eating establishments in the region—was able to connect Harbor Feast organizers with a number of head chefs, "who are super-excited about participating."
Clandestine Kitchen, which is partnering with Ralph's Hingham Wine Merchant for the event, is featuring a four-course Autumn Harvest dinner for two—featuring homemade pumpkin ravioli with an organic sage pesto and accompaniments—with the option of pairing the meal with wine.
Supporting Two Good Causes
With people getting takeout pretty regularly these days, Doyle said, it will be a nice opportunity to order a delicious "to go meal" while at the same time supporting both local restaurants as the cold winter months approach and outdoor dining begins to recede and Hingham Maritime Center as it heads into its off-season.
Ed Brown, who owns The Snug with his wife, Ellen Nally Brown, is looking forward to what he called "a great event." For their part in Harbor Feast, the meal will include The Snug's famous steak tips, side dishes, and a can of Guinness. "Hingham Maritime Center is a great organization, and we're happy to participate," he said.
All the other restaurants will be offering equally appealing choices, from a sandwich combo to more "date night" specials and family meals.
"We're hoping this will be a nice opportunity for people to enjoy their meals in their backyard with a friend or two and a fire pit going, and then to sit back and relax while listening to the livestream concert," Whitlock said. "We're excited that the idea has come to fruition. The feather in our cap is that the Aldous Collins Band will be performing."
Other participating restaurants are: Alma Nove, Boathouse Bistro, Greenside Grille, Jake's Seafood, Pearl & Lime, The Quarry, Stars on Hingham Harbor, The Townshend, Trident Gallery & Raw Bar, and Square Cafe.
Ergathon, An Exciting Addition
The Ergathon challenge is an exciting addition this year because it allows for a level of activity on Barnes Wharf, with plenty of space for social distancing. The ergs will be outside on Barnes Wharf, where HMC is headquartered.
HMC President Sturt English and those who are planning the event are hoping for a good turnout. Due to COVID-19, summer programming was extremely limited, so Harbor Feast is a good opportunity to make up some of the lost revenue while throwing a big event for the community to enjoy.
"Community support is critical in a way that it never has been before. We're hoping a lot of people participate and enjoy the various events we have planned so we will be able to provide programming, sailing, and rowing next year," English said. "2021 marks HMC's 50th year -- a major milestone -- and we want to be sure we are around to celebrate that occasion."
Members of the community stepped up earlier to assist in a number of ways -- making donations and volunteering their time and energy to help keep HMC up and running this summer, repairing boats, and donating most of their COVID-19-related supplies.
"We survived the operating season, and now we're heading into the off-season. There are ongoing expenses, but we can't run our usual winter programming because of COVID," English said. "We don't know of any place where we can safely put ergs indoors for use during the cold weather."
The Ergathon will be a fun-filled, fitness-oriented, spirited competition that helps support community boating on the South Shore in harmony with HMC's mission. This live event is open to rowers of all levels, interested athletes, and others who are looking for something new to try. Youth who are at least 12-years-old and in seventh grade or older as well as adults are invited to spend some time on beautiful Hingham Harbor rowing as fast as they can on an ergometer.
During the Ergathon, up to 10 participants at a time will compete in heats throughout the day. Rowing start times will run from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. and will be assigned based on participants' time preferences. Strict COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed, as detailed on the HMC website, in order to make the event fun and safe for all.
"We wanted to find a way to help our youth and adult rowers be part of the fundraiser this year, and we're hoping for a good turnout," board member Maria Cassidy said.
Event sponsors include The Hingham Anchor, FoxRock Properties, South Shore Bank, Derby Street Shops, Oak Development & Design, Darleen Lannon, Coldwell Banker Realtor, McDevitt Law Group, P.C., Aldous Collins Band, MassMVMNT, Robin and Matt Teague, Shakesbeer, and Stran.
Here are the steps to participate in the Ergathon:
- Complete an easy online HMC Ergathon Registration at https://docs.google.com/
forms/d/e/ 1FAIpQLSdIU7MswWcnB6lKkKmNOVsH Pl5RvDNyGs_cFsMlL4u_jJdGmg/ viewform.The registration deadline is Friday, October 23!
- Pay a $25 registration fee, which includes an event t-shirt, on the HMC website, https://hinghammaritime.org/
Participants will receive a Harbor Feast Row2Go ~ HMC Ergathon 5K Challenge event shirt; a raffle entry to win the Grand Prize of a brand-new Concept2 Ergometer with every $100 in pledges; a chance to win prizes for the most money raised through pledges; and an opportunity to win designation of fastest time in various race categories!
Concept2 provided an ergometer at cost, and a generous board member is covering the remaining balance well as providing a second erg.
"We're hoping the community will really come out for this event and that there will be wide participation among sailors and rowers and others who just want to support HMC," Sharon said. "No experience is necessary to take part in the Ergathon."
In addition to healthy and friendly competition, this event will provide an opportunity for people to get close to the water and to learn more about HMC's offerings, including its popular rowing and sailing programs for all ages.
"HMC is a unique community resource right on the waterfront," Whitlock said. "That's our mission: to provide the community with access to the water in a way that's affordable."
Check out the HMC website at https://hinghammaritime.