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HEADING ON A DAY TRIP—Connie Portis seated second from right

A trip to Martha’s Vineyard is a getaway many dream of, but thanks to Connie Portis, for the last 10 years hundreds of women have made their dream come true with a trip to Martha’s Vineyard with a great group of women and a fun, affordable vacation. The getaway has grown from 15 women in 2008 to over 100 in 2016 and 2017. Sisters and Friends head to The Vineyard the Sunday after Labor Day when the pace is slow and the tourist crowd is reduced. A large portion of the women come from Pittsburgh but the word of this good time has spread to Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey and California.

The trip is two weeks long but most attend one week or the other. The weeks earmarked this year were September 10 through the 17 and September 17 through the 23. Guests enjoyed dynamic speakers, presenters and activity leaders. Some of the leaders from Pittsburgh included: Joyce Ellis, Delores Pratt Chandler, Joyce Broadus, Dr. Margaret Pettigrew, Debra Gloster and yours truly. There were tea parties where ladies made their own hats out of newspaper, wine and cheese sips, book discussions, day trips to Zion Union Museum, a thrift store fashion show and of course morning dips in the well-known Inkwell at Inkwell Beach.

THE SISTERS AND FRIENDS CHOIR (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

Portis has put together a most desirable getaway where ladies from vastly different backgrounds come together for a week and have a grand time. Portis is the former publisher of the Greater Pittsburgh Black Business Directory and Renaissance News. For years she produced the annual Black Extravaganza and the Trailblazer Awards.


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