Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

So many people talk about the generous and kind spirit of community that exists on Martha’s Vineyard. During these last few months, I have experienced it firsthand. I am president of a rare cancer research foundation called TargetCancer, and on August 5 we held our first event here on the Island at Beetlebung Farm in Chilmark.

If you were at Beetlebung Farm on Sunday, you tasted Chris Fischer’s exquisite food, listened to beautiful music and enjoyed a perfect evening under the stars. It was a wonderful night for a critical cause, and one that never would have taken place without the kindness and generosity of so many people who invested their talents and time to help raise awareness and funds for rare cancer research.

Everyone I encountered working on this event was willing to help — Chris Fischer, the Fischer family and the farmers at Beetlebung Farm who offered their land and food, the numerous Island businesses who donated and discounted their services and the many volunteers who selflessly gave their time to make this event a success. Those who attended the event, many of whom were previously unfamiliar with TargetCancer, were incredibly welcoming and giving as well.

I have experienced the Island gift of a strong community of support for me, my son, and TargetCancer. I will always be grateful.

Kristen Palma

Chilmark and Cambridge