The following letter was addressed to the town of Chilmark.

I wanted to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude from all of my family for the use of the Chilmark Community Center on Sunday, June 1, to host a fundraiser for my grandfather Ed Colligan. The outpouring of love, encouragement and support that we have received from the community has been overwhelming and humbling.

It is always amazing to be reminded of what it truly means to be a Vineyarder.

In 2005, Ed was diagnosed with terminal lung disease. At that time, he was given a life expectancy of five years. Now, nine years later he is still proving what it means to live. He has lived every day of his life to the fullest and has let nothing stand in his way. During the first weeks of May, we sat in the hospital with him and were told to begin planning his final arrangements. At no time did anyone expect us to be sitting in his living room today planning a completely different type of event.

Seeing him at home surrounded by the people and things that he loves has made this whole situation seem that much more amazing and inspirational. In order to keep him home, we have had to hire private nursing, which as many know, is not covered by insurance.

After my father wrote the first check to the private nurse, being true to his typical selfless nature, Papa told us that he thought it would be a good idea to cut back on his care. He did not want to cause any hardships for our family. The next day, I was able to tell him that this fundraiser had already raised enough money to maintain his current level of care for the next six weeks. He has not mentioned cutting back care since. As a family, we know that his needs will become greater as things progress, and we feel so blessed for the outpouring of support.

Thank you for your kindness.

Jenny (Colligan) Kuehne