The late June Manning — Wampanoag tribal elder, career nurse, Island historian and longtime Gazette columnist — will be remembered with a garden in her name at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, where she was a board member for nine years.

Manning family members (from left) Kayla, Chris, Paul and Theresa. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“June was here when we did our ribbon-cutting . . . a week before she passed [in November],” said Community Services chief executive officer Beth Folcarelli, during an open-air reception Tuesday outside the new early education and care building on the Oak Bluffs campus.

After a rainy morning sky gave way to veiled sunlight just in time for the noon event, members of Ms. Manning’s family and dozens of other Islanders stood in small, masked clusters as speakers Wiet Bacheller and Kristina Hook recalled their friend as a generous soul, a tireless activist, a treasured mentor and an encyclopedia of social lore.

“To say we miss her is a huge understatement,” Ms. Bachellor said.

“She gave of herself all over the Island,” said Ms. Hook, who grew up with Ms. Manning in Aquinnah.

“Everybody knew June, [and] June knew all about you,” said Ms. Hook, whose brief remarks evoked both laughter and a hint of tears.

“The tribe has lost our history,” she said.

A rain garden on the early education and care grounds will bear a plaque honoring Ms. Manning, who loved children, Ms. Bacheller said.

“We could not think of a more fitting spot to carry June’s name,” she said.

In addition to celebrating Ms. Manning’s memory, Tuesday’s event included an update from Ms. Folcarelli on progress in staffing the early education and care program, which has been shorthanded since before the new building opened.

With support from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and several other key donors, Ms. Folcarelli said, the Community Services program for early childhood educators has been able to both augment salaries and reward professional development for staff members.

“That program [has] been underway for almost a year now. We’ve distributed more than $50,000 in additional salary-based compensation for our existing staff; we’ve hired eight new staff with this program; we’ve done distributions related to their professional development, and other retention distributions in the course of the year,” she said, adding: “And so, we’re on a good footing to restore our staffing back to pre-pandemic levels. It will take some time to do that, but I think we’re well on our way.”

Event saw giant check passing: a donation from Lazy Frog owners Jake and Sarah Gifford to Community Services CEO Beth Folcarelli. — Mark Alan Lovewell

With the early education center done, Ms. Folcarelli said Community Services has moved on to the $18 million second phase of its capital campaign to modernize the rest of its campus.

“The investment will insure a safe, accessible, dignified and welcoming space for key services,” Ms. Folcarelli said, naming the Island Counseling Center, veterans services, disability services and an urgent care center that will be open 12 hours a day to people suffering mental health or substance emergencies.

Daybreak Clubhouse, a drop-in center for Islanders living with chronic mental illnesses, will also move to the rebuilt facility, she said.

We’ve been trying for a long time to bring Daybreak to the campus of Community Services,” Ms. Folcarelli said.

More than $1 million of the second-phase goal has already been raised by the organization’s board of trustees, board member Sandy Pimental announced.

Ms. Folcarelli thanked the organization’s other donors, including Sarah and Jake Gifford of the Lazy Frog in Oak Bluffs, who presented a $5,695 check representing a portion of the proceeds from their Vineyard-opoly board game.

Future sales of the Island-themed variation on Monopoly, which was released about six months ago, will continue to generate donations for Community Services, Mr. Gifford told the group.

“We hope . . . the check will be larger next year,” he said.