The Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard celebrated a record-breaking year with a reception Tuesday for scholarship recipients from the past several years.

The honorees—who ranged in age from those who graduated from high school two days ago to postgraduate students—joined the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School guidance office and members of the Permanent Endowment board to chat and enjoy an informal breakfast at the high school’s culinary arts dining room.

Melissa McKee Hackney thanked the Island community for helping Permanent Endowment give more than $1 million in scholarships. — Meg Robbins

The Permanent Endowment supports local nonprofits and awards scholarships to local students. This year more than $220,000 was awarded to students.

Permanent Endowment Chairman Melissa McKee Hackney thanked the Island community and high school for helping them reach this milestone.

“What was a record year for the Endowment was a record year for the Island,” she said. “We live in an incredible community where so many are vested in the success of our youth and nowhere is that more evidenced than here at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, so thank you to the high school for all that you do to give these young people a strong foundation for their biggest off-Island trip yet.”

The Permanent Endowment is also encouraging scholarship recipients to continue the generosity. Board member and chairman of the Scholarship Committee Kerry Alley introduced the Pay it Forward Fund, a matching fund the Permanent Endowment rolled out in 2011. Scholarship recipients are encouraged to donate, and the endowment will match the amount.

“One of the things that the Endowment fund tries to do is to get the whole idea of philanthropy, of giving back, of paying back out there so that people your age start to think about that,” Mr. Alley said to the audience of honorees.

Adam Wilson, Permanent Endowment board member Don Ogilvie, and Aaron Wilson. — Meg Robbins

High school guidance director Michael McCarthy urged students to appreciate the Permanent Endowment’s commitment to their future success.

“I always say they’re like dream keepers,” Mr. McCarthy said. “In other words, they’re trying to help you keep your dream alive and move forward, [especially] in this day and age with the economics the way they are and how hard it is to pay for college education.”

According to Mr. Alley, Tuesday’s reception had the highest turnout the reception has ever had.