An atmosphere of great celebration prevailed here at the Island Wide Youth Collaborative and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services this week with the announcement of a $620,780 MVYouth expansion grant to finance the construction of a new building to house the youth collaborative. Needless to say, we were all blown away by the generosity of the grant award but also with the realization that the fully funded youth collaborative project will come to fruition this year.

At the heart of this incredible game changer stand Dan Stanton, Jim Swartz, and 38 other families who wanted to give back to the community that means so much to them. They took a good hard look at the challenges experienced by the community and decided that the best way to permanently strengthen and improve the lives of Island families was by raising the funds necessary to support nonprofits who are providing services and recreational activities for Island children and youth. For your vision, generosity, and commitment, we are truly grateful.

Our appreciation also goes out to Lindsey Scott, Ron Rappaport, and the MVYouth advisory committee who put into motion the vision of MVYouth trustees and established a seamless grant process. Their collective efficiency and the clarity and transparency of the process was remarkable considering that this was their initial grant cycle.

Finally, many thanks to Bill Potter of Squash Meadow and Doug Hoehn of Schofield, Barbini & Hoehn, who took this fledgling enterprise under wing and provided the advice and expertise necessary to site and design the youth collaborative center.

On behalf of the board of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and the members of the youth collaborative, we extend our sincere thanks to all who made this possible.

Victor Capoccia
Vineyard Haven

The writer is board president for Community Services. This letter was also signed by Juliette Fay, Amy Lilavois, Theresa Manning, Jill Robie, and Dr. Jeff Zack.