By Robin Slick, Published Tuesday

"Mahon Down!" Let’s get together and “Mahon Up” for Gene!

This past Sunday night, the community of Nantucket came together to raise money for Gene Mahon in recognition of his many contributions to the island. After being off island with serious medical conditions since late October, Gene is home, however, he faces large medical and living expenses, including 24-hour care at the The Homestead of Nantucket.

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Over the past 50 years, Gene's love for this island revealed itself in the many ways in which he chose to be involved in the community. Gene founded and operated many island businesses, including the well-loved Roadhouse Jazz Club, the Camera Shop and Nantucket TV. He gave back with his time by serving on countless boards, including most recently the Nantucket Arts Council, Comedy Festival, Community Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. 

Many people also know him from his popular and ground-breaking current events blog "Mahon About Town," where he often photographed and gave free press to island non-profits. Gene was one of the first islanders to understand the important role the Internet played in shaping and sustaining a community. 

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This was definitely not your typical, all-dolled-up-to-be-seen summer fundraiser. Instead, casual island locals PACKED the Chicken Box! The turnout was impressive to say the least. Attendees poured over the thoughtfully displayed silent auction tables that overflowed with generous prizes. The action was certainly at the tables! As bids were continuously being raised, bidders were kept on their toes, returning over and over to check the bid sheets, trying to ensure a win of their coveted prize. This added to the overall excitement of the evening where the motto was clearly "islanders helping islanders."

Yulia, Island Kitchen's lovely waitress, served the most delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, tacos four ways! Braised chicken and beef varieties with cheese, chipotle and cilantro; fried cod with pickled red onions, and lime crema; and a vegetarian option of fried avocado tempura with feta and a green sauce.

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So after a couple of drinks and plentiful food, all were primed and ready for the LIVE auction! Tommy Bresette, the night's auctioneer, kept the crowd engaged and successfully helped to raise thousands of dollars for Gene. Maybe not so hard to do when you have extravagant over-the-top prizes such as a VIP experience for two to the 2020 Nantucket Wine & Food Festival; a round of golf and lunch for four at the exclusive Nantucket Golf Club plus dinner at The Pearl; two all-access passes to the Nantucket Project; and a trip to Burgundy France for four people to stay in a 19th century private home!

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Special congratulations in pulling off this event go to Mark Donato & Elisabeth English, Kristin Campbell, Kit Murphy and Shelly Lockwood.

This past December, DayBreak Nantucket welcomed Gene's blog "Mahon About Town" to their family of media outlets which includes the Nantucket Radio stations 97.7 ACK FM and 89.5 WNCK. Gene will remain as founding editor of "Mahon About Town" and Bill Ferrall, writer and editor of DayBreak Nantucket, will oversee content and editing of the two publications.

If you were not able to attend the festivities and would like to contribute to Gene’s round-the-clock care at the Homestead, please visit his gofundme page.

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Robin Slick

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