The generosity and philanthropy of Craig and Diane Welburn continues to shine on the Vineyard. Looking through the magnificence of the new location of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum you will be excited to see the Entrepreneur’s Wall with photos and details of many Island businesses that help bring economic diversity to the Vineyard, sponsored by this generous family.

As an extension of her focus and interest on fostering entrepreneurship, Diane has come up with a Whale of an Idea! Working with the museum and the high school she is now providing a scholarship or entrepreneurs stipend to a graduate of the high school that is not going to college but has a passion about a viable business opportunity. What a creative ideas that we should all embrace.

The Welburns also hosted Rev. Howard John Wesley this weekend as he preached this past Sunday at Union Chapel. The senior pastor at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va. lifted and inspired the crowd of four hundred at Union when he leaned in with his powerful message on An Unfair God. His command of the service was flawless.

Nantucket and Vineyard friend Don Stewart died recently and was remembered yesterday at graveside services near his wife’s family plot on Nantucket. Don served as president of Spelman College from 1976 to 1986, raising the endowment from $9 million to $40 million and establishing the first Women’s Research and Resources Center at any historically black college or university. His wife Isabel Stewart‘s family has a generation of land on Nantucket but that did not prevent their frequent visits to friends and events on the Vineyard.

As a board member of the former Elder Hostel, Don and Isabel attended all of the Road Scholar programs at Shearer Cottage some years ago, organized by Kathy Taylor. These events brought Ambassador Andy Young, members of the Little Rock Nine and so many others to Oak Bluffs. He almost never missed the August Hutchins Forum at the Old Whaling Church. Ron and Charlayne Hunter Gault, Nancy Washington, Sandra Grymes, Washington Ladesma, Preston and Connie Williams and David Levering Lewis were among the 40 plus that came to pay their respects to a giant in American higher education. Hugs to Isabel and the family.

Saturday morning provided the perfect temperature for the women’s doubles finals held at the East Chop Tennis Club. The contest was between two established veterans, Jacqui Miller and Allie Hyzak versus the mother-daughter team of Margaret and Caroline Berzins. The first set was a war with many volleys back and forth, aggressive net play with both teams feeling each other out. The Berzins took the first set seven to five and went on the finish the match with a clearer six three win in the second set. Trophies and applause greeted both teams at the end. Many took the time to also congratulate Caroline upon her recent graduation from Stanford University with an engineering degree. Her proud grandparents were on the club porch providing moral support.

Much is in the planning this week as a bevy of August events are approaching. The Boston Chapter of Girlfriends, Inc. were finishing details of their national luncheon to be held on Monday, August 12. Valerie Jarrett’s books have arrived for her much anticipated book reading and signing at Union Chapel on August 14. Former staffers and friends of Senator Ed Brooke are busy working with the staff of Congresswoman Barbara Lee as she will headline the Brooke Schloaship event on August 21. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley from Boston and Mayor Andrew Gillum of Florida will lead a panel discussion on Voter Suppression on August 22.

I hope that you and your friends, loved ones and guests continue to appreciate how fortunate we all are to share the air, the beaches, the farms, the trails and the history of this ninth wonder of the world.

Life on earth is living the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it, as life is fleeting!

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