As the program director of CONNECT to end violence, a program of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, I would like to recognize our Island community for their support during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Many individuals and businesses devoted their time, energy, and resources to promote awareness of the complicated issues surrounding this epidemic.

A special thanks goes out to The Ritz (in particular owner Larkin Stallings, manager Kelly Feirtag and Rose Guerin), for hosting Lady Fest, which brought together amazingly talented female-led bands for a night of great music with proceeds from the door charge donated directly to CONNECT; to radio station WMVY for hosting segments on events and services available to survivors and their loved ones; to a concerned community member who purchased an ad in the Vineyard Gazette to highlight the presence of this issue and resources available; and to Islanders and visitors who participated in the 10th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk as well as Island Source MV for donating water for the walkers.

Each day, the staff at CONNECT are inspired by the strength and resiliency of the survivors who access our services. We feel honored to do this work. Although there is still much to be accomplished in order to eliminate domestic violence in our community, our program is buoyed by the support of the Island community. Funds raised will go toward meeting the unmet needs of survivors in our community otherwise not provided by current funding.

Jennifer Neary
Oak Bluffs