Beatrice (Beach) Bennett was known for her support and encouragement of others in their pursuit of happiness, no matter what path they were traveling. She died at age 50 this past September at her Chilmark home after a battle with cancer, and her daughter Bella is honoring her mother’s memory with the Beatrice Bennett Great Aspirations Memorial Scholarship Fund. The first fundraiser for the new scholarship is set for Saturday, Dec. 20, beginning with cocktails at 6 p.m. at the Portuguese-American Club.

Mrs. Bennett was a gifted equestrian and trained many young people at the farm she and her husband Bill built in Chilmark. A friend to many in the Island community, she met Tina Miller when they were in third grade and their friendship spanned more than 40 years.

“The thing about Bea was that she was always pushing and supporting everybody to achieve their happiness . . . to follow their heart,” Ms. Miller said.

With that in mind, the scholarship fund set up by Mrs. Bennett’s daughter will not focus entirely on academic achievement. The scholarship will be offered to graduates of the regional high school and the charter school, but not only to those who are college bound. Graduates who aspire to participate in a nonprofit program or organization such as a National Outdoor Leadership School or an Outward Bound course are also eligible.

Bella Bennett said this idea was similar to how when she and her friends were graduating from high school her mother was supportive of every decision.

“I think the idea came because when I applied to colleges and my friends were applying, she was really interested in helping us find the best fit. And if my friends weren’t interested in college, she did a lot of research to try to find some things for them off the Island to sort of broaden their view,” Bella said. “The scholarship honors her will to help find peoples’ interests so they could move forward, to help them reach for the positive and for them to realize they have the power to do that within themselves.”

The fundraiser will bring back one of the Island’s favorite restaurants, Louis’ Tisbury Cafe, for one night at least. Louis Giordano will cook up some favorite dishes such as lasagna, carrot soup and the famous poppy seed rolls from his old eatery. Goodnight Louise will perform, and there will be a silent auction that includes a day sail aboard the Liberty and a week-long trip to Sicily. Organizers hope the scholarship carries on Mrs. Bennett’s legacy while helping the Island community at the same time.

Bella will head back to college in

January after taking a semester off. She said she’ll come back to present the scholarship award next spring. There is a matching donor who will help make sure the fund reaches its goal so that at least one scholarship will be awarded this coming year.

“It’s going to be a great night,” Bella said. “Great friends, great people, great food. What’s not to love about that?”

Tickets are $75 and available at Midnight Farm and Conroy’s Apothecary in West Tisbury and Oak Bluffs. They will also be available at the door. Donations can be made through the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1182, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; specify the Beatrice Bennett Fund.