Edith W. Potter of Chappaquiddick, a longtime conservationist who wrote the first zoning bylaws for Edgartown and was influential in saving South Beach and the Katama airfield, received her due recognition on Thursday when she was honored as this year’s recipient of the Spirit of the Vineyard Award.
The award is given annually to a person who has served for one or more nonprofit organizations on the Island, and whose work has made a difference to individuals and to the community as a whole.
The late afternoon gathering at the Edgartown Yacht Club brought friends and supporters from across the Island, many of whom testified to Edo Potter’s commitment to Island causes.
Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission executive director James Lengyel praised Mrs. Potter for her work on the land bank advisory board, on which she served for more than 20 years. Nancy Hugger of Chappaquiddick spoke of Mrs. Potter’s efforts in land preservation. Tom Durawa of Edgartown spoke of serving alongside Mrs. Potter for 12 years on the board of selectmen.
Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard’s Polly Brown, a previous Spirit of the Vineyard recipient, presented Mrs. Potter with the award. True to her nature, Mrs. Potter stood in front of a cheering audience of more than 70 people, but said nothing.
She was overwhelmed, she later told the Gazette. “It means so much to me. The list of previous recipients is pretty impressive.”
To be among those is a great honor.