Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard announced this week that Melinda Loberg of Vineyard Haven has been chosen to receive the annual Spirit of the Vineyard award.
“Melinda Loberg is a woman who can’t say no. As a result, she is very busy. And her work makes a difference to many people in diverse ways,” declared a press statement from hospice about the award.
Ms. Loberg became a basic Emergency Medical Technician in 1999 and was named EMT of the year in 2008. She later increased her skills and qualified for an EMT intermediate. Training for the two certifications involved hundreds of hours and travel off-Island to get practical experience. She works as a volunteer every Monday night and often fills in on other shifts and assists with transports to medical facilities off-Island.
Ms. Loberg is also is president of the Tisbury Volunteer Ambulance Association, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the ambulance service. Among other things the association sponsors the Last Night, First Day celebration in Vineyard Haven on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Ms. Loberg lives on the Vineyard Haven harbor and Tashmoo Pond.
“She is acutely aware of the conditions on and off the water. When she’s interested in something, she participates,” the hospice statement said. Ms. Loberg joined the Tisbury Waterways Inc. board in 1998 and soon became president. The group studies the water quality of Island ponds and the Vineyard Haven harbor and raises money for water quality improvements.
Ms. Loberg is also on the Lake Tashmoo Committee, the town harbor management committee, the water subcommittee of the Island Plan and the Eastville Beach committee. She heads the Lagoon Pond bridge committee which negotiated with the state as it developed plans for a replacement bridge.
She enjoys rowing the locally built Cornish pilot gigs. When the RowingMV crews needed a coxswain to guide them in their morning and afternoon rows, Melinda volunteered. She is also one of the steadfast maintenance crew of the wooden boats.
Ms. Loberg has served on the board for Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard for six years, where she is clerk and heads the personnel committee. She is also a member of the Tisbury finance committee and she was recently appointed as a county commissioner.
“Melinda’s volunteer leadership activities are the equivalent of a full-time job, serving the people of Martha’s Vineyard. The range and depth of her efforts make her an ideal recipient of the eleventh annual Spirit of the Vineyard Award,” the statement said.
There will be a breakfast honoring Ms. Loberg on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 9 a.m. at the Howes House.
The award was started 11 years ago. Hospice sponsors the award to honor volunteers who do so much for so many people on the Island. and whose work has made a difference to individuals and to the community as a whole. The criteria for selection include selflessness, range and depth of service performed, length of volunteer service and effect on the quality of life of the individuals who received help and for the Island community as a whole.
Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, is a free, community supported program whose mission devoted to providing a wide range of care for people who are facing advanced illness and loss.
Past recipients of the Spirit of the Vineyard award are: Jack Ware, Estelle Surprenant, Ronald H. Rappaport, the Possible Dreams Auction committees past and present, Nellie Mendenhall, Kerry Alley, Dorothy Bangs, Judy Williamson, the MV Harley Riders and Polly Brown.