15 Years of Being Knotty

By Lisa Cavanaugh

In 2001, when the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association—now the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance—decided to throw a community fundraiser to support their work on behalf of local fishermen, they settled on a saucy name that would both represent their gear type (hook and line fishing) and grab some attention: Hookers Ball. The casual potluck, held in a donor’s backyard, has morphed into a grand summer event. One hundred volunteers and more than 700 guests gather each year under an elegant 14,000-square-foot tent at the Chatham VFW to dine, dance and mingle while raising vital funds that help keep a sustainable small-boat fishing fleet on Cape Cod.

One of the highlights of Hooker’s Ball has always been the boat-to plate seafood directly sourced from the fishermen who bring in their catch from Cape Cod waters. The species on the menu have changed over the past decade and half, from once plentiful cod and haddock to the “underloved” species, such as skate and dogfish, but the idea is the same: Love your local fish while supporting your local fishermen.  The Casual Gourmet will be preparing the dishes this year and there will also be a make-your-own-sundae bar provided by Ben and Jerry’s. “Hookers Ball is a celebration of commercial fishing and seafood on Cape Cod. This fundraiser has anchored the alliance for 15 years,” says John Pappalardo, CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. With live music, an open bar, exciting one-of-a kind auction items, and the lively gathering of locals, visitors and the fishermen themselves, it’s a party not to be missed.

Tickets are $200 for general admission and they can be purchased online.

Chatham VFW, 150 George Ryder Road, Chatham

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