A world of thanks to so many people who made Songs for a Sister, a fundraiser on my behalf, an overwhelming success. A special thank you to Steve Myrick, writer at this newspaper, for the touching story he wrote about me and my plight for a kidney, which certainly got the ball rolling. So many people stopped me on the street, the post office or Reliable to say they had read my story and wished me good luck going forward.

The organizers of the fundraiser, Carleen Cordwell, Caroline Hunter and Jocelyn Coleman Walton — I can’t thank you ladies enough for all your hard work, your love and support.

The performers put on a magnificent show: Allison Frasier, Michele Holland, Vivian Male, Suesan Stoval and Cleo Wilkins, all accompanied by Frank Wilkins. There aren’t enough words to thank you for the fantastic performances.

And of course, the many, many attendees. The moment we pulled into the parking lot, which was full at 8 p.m., and went into the PA Club where there was standing room only, it took my breath away. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a turnout.  The love and support exhibited in that room was overwhelming and I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for making the evening magical.

Growing up here all summer, every summer, as a young kid, I knew that Martha’s Vineyard, especially Oak Bluffs, was a special place. However, the love and generosity in that room was beyond my greatest expectation. I am still overwhelmed and ever so grateful.

The next step is for me to get that phone call from Mass General Hospital and head to Boston for my transplant. I will go with a full heart and so much gratitude to all of you.

Gretchen Coleman-Thomas         
Oak Bluffs