Veteran’s Raffle Winner Announced

December 19th, 2014


On Monday, December 15, Star Island drew a winning name from over 110 entries for a free week-long stay on Star Island during the 2015 summer. The winner, Thomas McNaugher of McLean, VA, is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and the first Gulf War.

“Star Island offers this modest gesture to express our deep appreciation of our veterans, which are such a worthy group to celebrate. This is our expression of gratitude for how much our veterans – including Mr. McNaugher – have given to all of us,” said Star Island CEO Joe Watts.

The second annual Veteran’s Raffle included entries from across the country. The entries represented people who have never been to Star Island and those who have been coming to Star Island for many years. McNaugher is one of those entries with some Star history. McNaugher wins a free week’s stay on Star Island this coming summer for him and his family.

“I’ve been coming to Star Island since 1992 when I was invited to speak at the International Affairs Conference. I fell in love with the place and IA’s wonderful people, and can’t imagine a summer without Star,” said McNaugher, currently a Senior Visiting Professor and Director of Studies with Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program.

Star Island’s Veteran’s Raffle provides a free week’s stay on Star to the winning veteran and his or her family. In 2013, the first Veteran’s Raffle winners were Brian Morrow of Addison, IL and Melissa Bailey of San Antonio, TX.

Star Island is one of the Isles of Shoals about an hour’s boat ride off the New Hampshire coast. Since 1897, people have gathered on Star for multi-generational conferences and programs that aim to understand the world as it might ideally be. Consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, the non-profit Star Island provides a spiritual retreat location where all are welcome.

Click here to learn more about the Veteran’s Raffle

Be Part of the 2014 Annual Fund

December 8th, 2014

Sharon Kennedy Giving Tuesday

December is the perfect time to make that year-end gift to Star Island because it’s the last chance you’ll have to be part of the 2014 Annual Fund! So, take a moment right now and give by clicking here and be part of the community that makes Star Island so uniquely special – a community of spirit that frees all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be. Now, that’s a vision worth our support.

There are as many reasons to give as there are Star donors. Grandparents like Sharon and Tom Kennedy want Star to be here for their grandchildren’s grandchildren. They and others talk of funding our financial aid program, honoring somebody important to us, appreciating our community, maintaining and improve our facilities … the list goes on. Your contribution is vitally important for our present to remain strong, and our future bright.

Click here to join the 2014 Annual Fund

If you have not yet pledged or given, now is the perfect time to do so. Please join in supporting a place and purpose that our world needs now. With Star Spirit and deepest gratitude for your abundant spirit.

Star Island Holiday Gift Guide Released

December 6th, 2014

Last year we scoured the Isles of Shoals for a selection of the perfect holiday gifts, and compiled them in a unique online catalog replete with ideas for everyone on your shopping list. This year, we’ve done the same. Introducing the 2014 Star Island Holiday Gift Guide. You may have thought we couldn’t do it again, but oh we have. This exquisitely curated gift catalog highlights the most sought after and hard to find gifts alongside classic gifts suitable for nearly anyone.

Once you’ve viewed the catalog, you can purchase your gift here.

Star Island Holiday Gift Guide

Click on the cover below to see the 2014 issue


Click here to view last year’s catalog.

Star Island Gift Certificates Available

December 4th, 2014

Star Island Gift Certificate Image‘Tis the season to get all flustered by wrapping gifts and matching tissue paper to gift bags. Such a pain, right? Problem solved. ‘Tis the gift of Star Island. But how are you going to give the gift of Star Island. Simple: a gift certificate.

Purchase a Star Island Gift Certificate

There’s no need to wrap this piece of magic for the holiday season. Star Island is bursting with so much energy we’re surprised we can even contain that energy within a gift certificate. Yet contain it we have.

Need help purchasing a gift certificate? Here are some pointers:

With a Computer

  • Open your preferred web browser (even if you’re still using a dial-up connection — we don’t judge)
  • Type the following link into the address bar: (or copy and paste the link depending on your computer skill level). Alternatively, you may also click here and skip the next step.
  • Click enter
  • When the page loads type in the number of gift certificates you would like in the boxes next to the value(s) you would like.
  • Click on the “continue” button.
  • Enter your information into the appropriate boxes.
  • Click on the “continue” button.
  • Enter your credit card infomration into the appropriate boxes.
  • Click on the “pay now” button.
  • Wait by your mailbox until the gift certificate arrives (make sure to bring some hot coco or mulled cider with you, though).

With a Homing Pigeon

  • Acquire a homing pigeon if you do not already have one and provide it with directions to 30 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
  • Write a note on parchment in your finest handwriting expressing your desire to procure a gift certificate. Please include the amount the gift certificate should be. Notes should be written in iambic pentameter.
  • The note should also include your credit card information including expiration date and the 3-digit number on the reverse of the card. You can alternatively write a phone number down for us to call you to receive the credit card information.
  • Place the note in the pigeon’s carrying case.
  • Set the pigeon on its course to the Star Island office.
  • Wait for the homing pigeon to return with the requested gift certificate.

Gift certifcates should be ordered by December 18 to be in the mail before Christmas.

Our #GivingTuesday Posts

December 2nd, 2014

We greatly enjoyed participating in #GivingTuesday, and the response we received is empowering. The amount you gave increased and the number of people giving also increased over last year. We’re already planning for 2015.

Of particular note this year were the posts we shared on Facebook and Twitter of some of our Shoalers. These Shoalers provided a sentence or two about why they give to Star Island, or why Star Island is important in their lives. You’re right in thinking those two questions are asking the same thing. To celebrate another succesful #GivingTuesday, we’ve gathered the six posts we made. We hope you enjoy looking at them together, and maybe they’ll inspire you to act on the opportunity to give. Click here for a story from the Portsmouth Herald which quotes CEO Joe Watts on the importance of #GivingTuesday.

Also, it’s never too late to particiapte in giving — you can click here to donate to the Star Island Annual Fund.

Peter Squires Giving Tuesday
Debbie Duval Giving Tuesday
Drew Bush Sara Lewis Giving Tuesday
Tara Kelly Giving Tuesday
Joe Watts Giving Tuesday
Sharon Kennedy Giving Tuesday

What Your Support Has Provided

December 1st, 2014

The generosity that makes Star Island thrive saw many milestones in 2014. Here’s a list of projects and accomplishments made possible by donations of time and money over this past year:

  • The biggest operating gain in the history of the organization
  • A grant from the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation supporting the restoration adn re-dedication of the John Smith Monument and improvements to trail access.
  • A season-long commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Capt. John Smith’s mapping and naming of New England. This map is first to include and name the Isles of Shoals.
  • An occupancy total of 19,378 bednights that exceeded our budgeted goal by 128.
  • The installation of a solar array and repurposing of the diesel powerhouse to a solar system control and distribution center.
  • Energy load reduction of 50,000 kW due to efficiencies gained through new equipment and systems.
  • Purchasing two new 80 kW diesel generators with a heat recovery system diverting waste heat from the engine to generate hot water for use in the hotel.
  • Elimination of 1,000,000 BTU’s of steam boiler capacity with installation of Steibel Eltron heat pumps.
  • Keeping tabs on our water usage with a visual display on the porch that tracked use from week to week.

To help Star Island continue succeeding for future generations, click here to support the Star Island Annual Fund.

Thank You!

Support Star Island on #GivingTuesday

December 1st, 2014


For the second year in a row, Star Island is a proud partner in #GivingTuesday. This day highlights the importance of giving back, and giving to organizations that are meaningful to you. Star Island, like many other non-profits, relies on donations to continue its mission. Our recent solar array installation and other sustainability efforts are one of several projects that people directly impact when choosing to donate to Star Island.

Click here to support Star Island

#GivingTuesday is a grassroots movement that started three years ago out of New York City. It has quickly grown into an international event which sees great involvement from people on social media providing reasons why they gave to important causes or organizations.

Star’s main goal on #GivingTuesday is to draw focus to our Annual Fund, and end-of-year giving. Gifts to the Annual Fund support all aspects of Star Island’s mission from purchasing new mattresses to offering guidance for conference leaders. Each donation, no matter the monetary value, goes a long way to sustaining a welcoming community each summer on Star Island.

To learn more about Star Island’s goals with #GivingTuesday, please click here.

Next Page »

Star Island is one of the rocky, wind-swept Isles of Shoals, located off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. For over 100 years, summers here have provided individuals and families with a welcome respite from their busy mainland lives.

Star Island Corporation is a nonprofit organization which maintains the island and its facilities and provides hospitality services for visitors.

Contact Star Island

Phone: (603) 430-6272
Fax: (603) 430-6270
Island Phone: (603) 601-0832
Staff Email Address List

Star Island Corporation
Morton-Benedict House
30 Middle Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Get directions to the office

Content © 1999–2014 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
Other photos © their respective owners.