The Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club received a pledge of $90,000 from a New Orleans philanthropist last Saturday night as part of a big 90th birthday celebration for Fred B. (Ted) Morgan Jr. The announcement came near the end of festivities at the private party held at the Field Club in Edgartown. Gary Solomon, who made the donation, told the crowd how much regard he had for Mr. Morgan, his family, and the youth club that serves the Island.

“I wanted to do something special for the Island, and something that Ted would appreciate,” Mr. Solomon told the Gazette yesterday. “Ted is very proud of his relationship with the Boys & Girls Club.”

Peter Lambos, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, was not at the birthday party to hear the announcement but said he was deeply touched upon learning about the pledge.

Mr. Morgan, who is one of the Island’s most celebrated and decorated World War II veterans, turned 90 on Monday. The Saturday evening party which included cocktails and hors d’oeuvres was put on by his six children, attended by his wife and included many of his relatives and long-time friends. It was described as a low-key gathering.

Earlier this year, CBS News did a profile of Mr. Morgan as one of the surviving World War II veterans who returned to Normandy this summer for the 67th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Mr. Morgan was a medic in the 82nd American Airborne division. Closer to home Mr. Morgan served as a selectman on the Vineyard and an administrator of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Mr. Morgan’s affiliation with the Boys’ and Girls’ Club has a long history. He was among the first children, along with his brother Robert, to attend what was then called the Edgartown Boys’ Club when it opened in 1937.

Mr. Morgan said he has fond memories of being a Boys’ Club member and of Joe Robichau picking him up with his brother on Saturdays to go to the new club on School street. Today the old clubhouse still stands as a nicely fashioned private home.

The club relocated to a building behind the Edgartown Elementary School in 1977, and expanded to include girls in 1982, and its service to the community in 1985. It now serves children from all around the Island. Remembering his time there as a child, Mr. Morgan said, “I was 16 and Rob was 14. We played basketball. Joe was the director of the club at the time, and later he went on to become the school basketball coach.”

Referring to the $90,000 pledge to the club, Mr. Morgan said, “It was the highlight of my birthday party.”

Mr. Lambos said he had met Mr. Solomon earlier in the day at the Edgartown Golf Course where they were holding the 27th annual MV Boys & Girls Club golf tournament. “We were standing at the golf clubhouse and got into a conversation. Ted introduced me to his son’s friend [Mr. Solomon]. He asked me about the programs. I told him we have about 370 kids, that on any give day we have around 100 kids come to the after-school program, Monday through Friday. It costs $20 for each child to join. I said that a majority of the kids we serve come from need-based families and working families. We spoke for about ten minutes.”

Mr. Lambos said he heard Mr. Solomon ask Ted Morgan Jr. to take him for a drive to the club to look at the building.

Mr. Lambos did not become aware of the pledge until Sunday morning after receiving a whole string of missed phone calls on his cell phone.

“I was volunteering for the [Vineyard Warrior] Triathlon,” he said. “I got calls from Greg Rollins, the former director of the club. I got a call from Karel Mattison, a board member, I got a call from Mark Hess. I thought something was horribly wrong with the golf tournament. Then I talked to Mark.”

Mr. Lambos noted that this was wonderful news, in a season of good news.

“I got married on Friday, August 26,” he said. His wife is Bethany Graham, a physical therapist at the hospital.

“The fact that it is $90,000 and is a tribute to Ted Morgan is so poignant,” he continued. “Ted, for many years, has done a lot of fund-raising for the club. Ted has always been a great ambassador for the club.”

Mr. Lambos said the club has an annual budget of $600,000. The last time that the club received such a large amount was $150,000 from the estate of Tony Meyer, which started the club’s endowment in 2009.

Mr. Lambos stated that it is premature to think about how the money would be spent. He has already been asked about the significance of the $90,000 but said he hasn’t spoken to the donor yet and hasn’t formally been told. “There could be details, there could be restrictions. It is important to get the ducks in line, before we say this or that.”

Mr. Solomon related how he was not entirely sure what he was going to do to help the Boys & Girls Club until he got up before the audience and spoke.

“I have gotten to know all the Morgans. They have been down here to New Orleans. Ted Morgan’s son is my closest friend. I have known him for 20 years.

“I am standing in that room full of all those people. God tells me to do this. I didn’t think about doing it until Mr. Morgan grabbed the microphone. Then I said, I want to do something for the club.

“I knew I wanted to do something special for the Island. Ted is very proud that he is a founding member of the club. He does a lot of nonprofit work. It is an Island that needs organizations to help those in need. When I heard that the Boys & Girls Club has an after-school program, I knew I wanted to help.”

And why the $90,000 and not another number?

“When my mother in law, Gloria, turned 80, I donated $80,000 to a cause. When my father, T.G., turned 90, I did it for him. As long as my friends keep getting older I will be broke,” he said.

“Ted Morgan is part of the great generation and he deserves all the accolades he gets,” Mr. Solomon added.

Mr. Hess, who attended the party, said he was deeply touched by the words of Mr. Morgan’s children, as they spoke about their father. He was also touched by Mr. Solomon’s words. “He introduced himself. He said basically that this is the first time on the Island and that Ted is a great individual. He said, ‘I am best friends with his son.’”

“When the announcement was made it was a very touching moment,” Mr. Hess continued. “Ted was blown away. What a great day for the Boys & Girls Club.”