There is much activity and planning this week as the Vineyard Preservation Trust prepares to host its annual Patrons Party and Auction, chaired this year by trustee Debi Crews. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown. Proceeds this year will benefit the repairs, renovations and exterior grounds of the legendary Union Chapel.

Home to religious services, plays, musicals, weddings, Built on Stilts, the Charles Ogletree Forums, Jubilee Juneteenth programs and so much more, this treasured community gathering place is at the center of Oak Bluffs life.

Among those attending the event will be former Trustee of the Trust, Shirley Hall, who organized the very first fundraiser for Union Chapel to replace all of the damaged chairs in the balcony. As attendance at the chapel began to swell a decade ago, the demand for seating grew.

Shirley chaired the campaign to purchase all new pews for the balcony. Come and see old friends and meet new ones. Congrats to Nevette Previd, executive director of the Trust and Sandy Burt for their tireless effort in curating this fabulous event.

Tom and Joyce Dresser of Oak Bluffs have been busy with research in connection with writing two books this year with intense focus over the winter months. Joyce took the lead on the first book, A Culinary History of Martha’s Vineyard. Tom, working with yours truly, co-authored Black Homeownership on Martha’s Vineyard: A History. This book recognizes that “race” has played a major role in who can and cannot own real estate in America. Our book explores the impediments, challenges, struggles and triumphs of the African American demographic on Martha’s Vineyard and how they navigated against these forces to own property as early as the 19th century. Both books are available at Island bookstores, Cousen Rose Gallery and C’est La Vie in Oak Bluffs. Congrats to Tom and Joyce.

Rob and Sabrina Williams pulled together one of the first cookouts for the season on Memorial Day weekend, hosting family and friends: Donalexander and Sadie Goss, Larry and Ernestine Smith, Charles Stewart and Kaye Long and many others.

While chatting and enjoying delicious food from the grill and the kitchen, Patrick and Sabriya Targete were over the moon with news that their daughter was recently accepted to Spelman College. They also just received their Certificate of Occupancy on their newly reconstructed cottage on Hines Point. A wonderful start to the summer season for the Targete family.

But there was more good news flowing from the chatter on the crowded deck that afternoon. Todd Pressley, son of Rev. Calvin and Iona Pressley, and Marisha Clinton, were united in holy matrimony on March 8. Marisha is the daughter of William and Cheryl Clinton of Springfield, where the ceremony took place. Clouds and rain the day before gave way to the bright sun on the wedding day, perhaps ushered in by the Egyptian Sun God Khepri. Oak Bluffs’s own Judge Tina Paige (retired) presided over the nuptial ceremony. The newlyweds are currently honeymooning in Zanzibar, returning next week.

It is not too early to begin planning to join some of the Jubilee Juneteenth events curated by Kahina Van Dyke, all to be held at Union Chapel. On June 21 there will be a screening of the PBS documentary the Cost of Inheritance beginning at 4 p.m. On June 22 there will be events from 1 to 3 p.m. featuring panels on the Space Race and Art as Resistance. The day ends with a musical Jubilee Jam.

On Sunday, the preaching will be led by Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes. Followed by the traditional Walk to the Water led by our own Dr. Jessica Harris. All is free.

The summer season is upon us to enjoy and celebrate.

Paradise on earth is living the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it as life is fleeting.