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Scenes from Starry Night

November 23rd, 2015

On Saturday, November 21 we welcomed over 100 people to the Discover Portsmouth Center for a great fundraiser featuring a talk by Dudley W. Dudley about her part in saving the Isles of Shoals from becoming a superport for oil tankers in the 1970s. The night also included a silent auction, live music from the band Seasmoke, and delicious food from Take Away Cafe.

The entire event brought in over $10,000 from ticket sales, sponsorships and the silent auction. Thank you to everyone who came out to the event, donated an item to the silent auction, or supported us through a sponsorship or volunteering. And a huge thank you to Dudley W. Dudley for her presentation. We learned so much and found great inspiration in this story. The night was a terrific reminder of how strong our community is, even on the mainland.

Check out some scenes from the night:

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Starry Night was made possible through your participation, the work of volunteers, and our sponsors: Island Cruises, Axis Computer Networks, Great Island Realty, Fred C. Church Insurance, and Samuel Adams.

Fill Up at the BRGR Bar on Saturday

November 18th, 2015


This Saturday, before or after coming to Starry Night, head over to the BRGR Bar in Portsmouth, NH for a delicious meal. This awesome burger joint is featuring The Star Island Burger on November 21st.

The Star Island Burger includes a Maine Family Farms beef patty with spinach, tomatoes, house made old bay aioli, and lobster mac + cheese. You started to salivate, didn’t you? Well, easy fix. Go to the BRGR Bar on Saturday and eat this thing!

And might we suggest ordering a side of ricotta stuffed sweet potato tots? Basically, in case you haven’t figured out, the BRGR Bar means business with its food and we think you should try it out. If not for us, for your stomach. We probably forgot to mention that they have milkshakes that will make your day. How? Some of them are spiked. They also have great homemade sodas like citrus + thyme, or blood orange. We are so hungry right now. Is it Saturday yet?

Starry Night

Even if you fill up at the BRGR Bar earlier in the day, don’t let your food coma make you miss Starry Night. Click here to learn more about the fun evening event.

Directions to the BRGR Bar from the Discover Portsmouth Center

Some Thoughts Before You Get Your Philanthropy On

November 17th, 2015

Starry Night 2015 Webpage Banner Image

Our seventh annual Starry Night fundraiser is set for this Saturday — November, 21. But you already knew that and purchased your ticket? Awesome.

Starry Night goes from 5-7 pm featuring a talk by Dudley W. Dudley and a silent auction. You’ll also be treated to refreshments from Take Away Cafe, music from Seasmoke, and an open bar supplied by Sam Adams. Pretty exciting, right?

Dudley W Dudley stands is set to retell how she and a group of concerned citizens stopped an oil refinery from being built in the seacoast COURTESY PHOTO

What’s Dudley’s talk about? She’ll be sharing her part during an important moment in Star Island’s history when the Isles of Shoals were threatened to be turned into a superport for oil tankers. Dudley will detail how she and a group of other concerned citizens — including the Star Island Corporation board — helped to thwart those efforts.

But before you get to Starry Night, here are some things to think about:

  • Where are you going to stay?
  • Where are you going to park?
  • Where are you going to have dinner?
  • Where is Starry Night anyways?
  • How many silent auction items will you bid on?

Where are you going to stay?

While there are a number of hotels in Portsmouth, we suggest staying at the Best Western Plus Wynwood Hotel & Suites just off the Portsmouth Traffic Circle. Call 603-436-7600 and mention the Z9 rate code to get 25% off your rate.

Where are you going to park?

We hope everyone easily finds a parking place on Saturday night. We understand that parking in downtown Portsmouth, especially for an out-of-town guest can be a little tricky sometimes. Click here for a guide to public parking in Portsmouth to pre-plan your parking options. We wish you good luck!

Where are you going to have dinner?

There’s really only one choice this Saturday, and that’s the BRGR Bar. This awesome restuarant located in Portwalk Place in downtown Portsmouth is featuring the “Star Island Burger” on Saturday which includes a Maine Family Farms beef patty with spinach, tomatoes, house made old bay aioli, and lobster mac + cheese. You’re hungry already, right?

Where is Starry Night anyways?

Just like past Starry Nights, this year’s fundraiser will be held at the Discover Portsmouth Center located at 10 Middle Street in Portsmouth, NH. If you know where our office is, you know where the Discover Portsmouth Center is because we’re basically one big building. But you should definitely enter through the Discover Portsmouth Center because our office doors will most likely be closed. Did we say Discover Portsmouth Center enough times already? Just in case: Starry Night is taking place at the Discover Portsmouth Center. The event starts at 5 pm. Click here for directions to the Discover Portsmouth Center.

How many silent auction items will you bid on?

Great question. The answer should probably be: all of them. But it’s really up to you. Whatever you bid, know that you’re supporting Star Island and our Green Gosport Initiative. That solar power is pretty nice, right?

Wait, you haven’t purchased your ticket yet?

Hold the phone batman. Click here to purchase your ticket.

Third Annual Raffle Open for US Military Veterans

November 11th, 2015

Veterans Raffle Picture

On Wednesday, November 11, Star Island welcomes United States military veterans to enter its third annual raffle for a free Star Island stay during the 2016 summer.

Click here to enter

As a thank you to the veteran community, Star Island is giving seven free nights to one veteran and his or her immediate family to spend some quality time together in its active multigenerational setting. Veterans are encouraged to go to to learn more and to register for the free raffle.

“Our gratitude for the veteran community cannot be matched by any gift, but we hope that this experience will make a difference for one veteran and their family,” said Star Island CEO Joe Watts.

The Star Island Veteran’s Raffle is free to enter and open to valid US military veterans. The winning veteran and members of his or her household will receive a free week (7-nights) on Star Island during selected dates of the 2016 season. Full details of the raffle may be found at

Star Island is one of the Isles of Shoals about an hour’s boat ride off the New Hampshire coast. Home to the historic Oceanic Hotel, one of New Hampshire’s Seven to Save, and a fishing village from the 1600s, a visit to Star Island is a step back in time. Visitors are encouraged to tour the island for the day, spend the night, or take part in one of the many conferences offered from June through September.

Raffle Opens: Wednesday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day)
Raffle Closes: Friday, December 11
Winner Picked: Monday, December 14
Winner Announced: Wednesday, December 16

The Island Energy Conference Visits Star Island

November 9th, 2015

This weekend we hosted the Island Institute’s annual Island Enery Conference for a field trip out to Star Island. The group toured Star to look at our innovative sustainable energy initiatives including our solar array and water filtration systems. Thank you to the Island Institute for including this trip – we hope everyone enjoyed it and took something away from the visit to bring back to their island communities.

Here are some scenes from this weekend’s trip:

Island Institute Visit - Cute Island Institute Guy and Marshall - WEB

Island Institute Visit - Group at Dock Larger - WEB

Folks from the Island Institute’s Island Energy Conference meet at our dock in Portsmouth before heading to Star Island for the afternoon.

Island Institute Visit - Dick Case with Others on Dock - WEB

Island Institute Visit - Cute Island Institute Guy with Others - WEB

Island Institute Visit - Marhsall Driving Boat - WEB

Our own Island Engineer, Marshall Frye, captains the boat out to Star Island.

Island Institute Visit - Dick Case Giving Tour - WEB

Dick Case, a member of the Star Island Strategic Facilities Committee, leads a tour around the Star Island Power House and battery bank.

Island Institute Visit - Men Talking by Batteries - WEB

Island Institute Visit - Dick Case Giving Tour Power House - WEB

Island Institute Visit - Kristen Talking - WEB

Kristen Simard, Star Island’s Environmental Services Manager, talks about creating and storing drinking water on island.

Island Institute Visit - Kristen Giving Tour of Water Tanks - WEB

Island Institute Visit - Pam Smith on Solar Deck with Guests - WEB

Conference guests take a look at our solar arrays now nearly a year in operation.

Island Institute Visit - By Solar Panel - WEB

Photos courtesy of Perry Smith Photography.

An Environmental David vs. Goliath Tale Worth Remembering

November 9th, 2015

Starry Night 2015 Webpage Banner Image

Click here for tickets to Starry Night

“The power of the people should not be forgotten.” Those are the words of Dudley W. Dudley, a Durham resident who was instrumental in stopping a massive oil refinery project that would have forever changed the Seacoast from Great Bay all the way to the Isles of Shoals. The public will get a chance to hear the story firsthand at a fundraising event for Star Island on Saturday, November 21st in Portsmouth.

It was 42 years ago that a local citizens’ revolt shattered the plans of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, the Olympic Oil Company, then NH Governor Meldrim Thomson, and newspaper publisher William Loeb. In 1973 that powerful group intended to build a refinery in Great Bay and a superport for crude oil production at the Isles of Shoals. A few local activists and a freshman legislator successfully rallied the community to oppose the project. In an editorial at the time, Union Leader Publisher Loeb criticized the voters of Durham for being “screwballs” who were influenced by “these housewives who are beating their small breasts against the power of Mr. Onassis.”

At the time, Dudley W. Dudley was a 37-year-old mother of two and a state representative from Durham who was instrumental in leading the charge against the project. She was also elected to four terms on the Executive Council – the first NH woman to hold that position. Dudley, now a nationally recognized environmentalist who has received numerous awards for her community service efforts, says her experience opposing the massive project has relevance today: “We had no funds, no organization, and no experience in fighting huge corporate interests. But we had the truth, passion and community. And in the end, we prevailed and protected our wonderful coastline and bay.” Dudley credits Phyllis Bennett, the publisher of a small start-up local paper, and fellow Durham resident Nancy Sandberg, who spearheaded the group Save Our Shores, with mobilizing the community to oppose to the project.

Dudley will be speaking for 30 minutes at a fundraising event called Starry Night on November 21st from 5 – 7 P.M. at the Discover Portsmouth Center at 10 Middle Street in downtown. She will recount the revolt and victory, and share how a community can prevail in the face of powerful, monied interests. The public is invited to attend. Tickets cost $45.00 and include live music, a silent auction, wine, beer, and catered appetizers. Click here for tickets.

All proceeds will support the environmental effort called the Green Gosport Initiative at the nonprofit Star Island. Star Island CEO Joe Watts says “Dudley’s efforts helped save the Isles of Shoals and her talk will inspire the next generation of environmentalists. We hope the public will join us as we recognize what might have been and celebrate the future for Star Island.”

Star is the second largest of the nine Isles of Shoals located seven miles off the coast of New Hampshire. Home to the historic Oceanic Hotel and a fishing village from the 1600s, a visit to Star Island is a step back in time. Visitors are welcome to tour the island for the day, spend the night, or take part in one of the many conferences offered from June through September.

Click here to purchase your tickets for Starry Night

Star Island Thanks Starry Night Donors

November 6th, 2015

Starry Night 2015 Webpage Banner Image

As we prepare for our annual Starry Night event on Saturday, November 21, we’d like to thank the people and organizations that are helping us to make this fundraiser happen.

Click here for tickets to Starry Night

Generous sponsors of Starry Night include Axis Computers, Fred C. Church Insurance, Island Cruises – M/V Uncle Oscar, Great Island Realty, and Samuel Adams!

This is the first year that we are also including a silent auction during Starry Night. We’ve received so many great items for you to bid on. Information about the items will be shared on our social media sites soon. Here’s a list of our great donors:

  • Portsmouth Ballroom Dance Studio
  • Ed Gerhard
  • Kent Allyn
  • Wendy Turner
  • Lisa Noonis
  • Bruce Parsons
  • Christopher Volpe
  • John Layton
  • The Music Hall
  • Piscataqua Sailing Association
  • Art with a Splash
  • Perry Smith Photography
  • Don Gorvett
  • Kate Leigh, Portsmouth Poet Laureate
  • J. Dennis Robinson
  • The Funky Divas
  • Jonathan’s Restaurant
  • Old as Adam Antiques & Vintage Haberdashery
  • Portsmouth Book & Bar
  • Grain Surfboards
  • Star Arts and Star Island Artisans

Interested in attending Starry Night? Click here for tickets.

Next Page »

Our Mission

Our mission since 1915 is to hold and maintain Star Island and such other property as the Corporation may hold or acquire, as a center for religious, education, and kindred purposes consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create on Star Island an environment that frees all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be.

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 © 1999–2015 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
Other photos © their respective owners.