Tonight is an evening for turning lemons into lemonade.
Islander Joyce Garde, a 14-year cancer survivor, was recently diagnosed with another cancer. Rather than fight the battle alone, she is celebrating with friends and is doing it in style — at a benefit held tonight in her honor at Lola’s restaurant in Oak Bluffs. All are invited to join her from 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. for free finger food, live deejay music, dancing, and a silent auction. The suggested donation is $20 at the door.
On Oct. 26, Mrs. Garde will head to Massachusetts General Hospital for a surgery to remove the cancer. The procedure requires an eight-week recovery period, during which time Mrs. Garde cannot go into her job at the Oak Bluffs Water District. Afterwards, Mrs. Garde will begin chemotherapy. “She is going to be out of work for eight weeks. She has only the standard paid medical leave. She is just a paycheck-to-paycheck person,” said friend Kristen Araujo who is organizing tonight’s event. “There is going to be a lot of time out of work and honestly, this is what this benefit is for. Winter is winter on Martha’s Vineyard. The money raised will go for heating, for rent, for the costs of travelling to the hospital.” Ms. Araujo said many know Mrs. Garde from her involvement in the community. “She is the amazing mother of Adam and Jared. She is the warm smile behind the Oak Bluffs Water District,” she said.
For those who cannot attend or who wish to pay more than the requested donation, checks can be made out to the Joyce Fund and can be sent to P.O. Box 3128, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, 02557. All branches of the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank are also accepting donations. For additional information on tonight’s benefit or the Joyce Fund, please call 508-939-9595.