Permanent Endowment awards MVRHS students

Photo by Ralph Stewart

Each spring the Martha’s Vineyard community offers invaluable resources in the form of financial aid to its college-bound high school seniors and students already enrolled in higher education. The Permanent Endowment Fund (PEF) is one of many organizations that work to support Island students on paths toward bright futures, and this year they broke their already charitable record by awarding a total of $219,700 to 98 students.

The PEF uses donations from Island residents and organizations to create grants and scholarships for local students who excel in various academic and extracurricular areas. The past few years have brought with them three newly established scholarship funds that allowed for the record-breaking rise in awards this spring, according to a press release.

One of those funds is the Keith A. Dodge Scholarship, which is awarded to students who excel in English. Keith Dodge, a longtime English teacher at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS), established the fund when he retired in 2013. This year’s recipients, MVRHS seniors Mary Ollen and Sarah Ortlip-Sommers, received scholarships of $2,500 each for their hard work and potential to major in English or a similar field.

The Blankenship/Hughes Scholarship Fund is awarded to students for their dedication to community service on the Island. Established by the Ruth B. and Robert H. Hughes Charitable Annuity Trust, this year’s $5,000 award went to MVRHS senior Alice Keenan for her work at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and her response to the scholarship essay prompt, “How can I help improve the quality of life on the Vineyard?”

The Rusty Flack Scholarship Fund, set up in 2012 by Rusty Flack’s friends and family, aids students who are members of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and who demonstrate a strong work ethic. MVRHS senior Aaron J. Wilson was the recipient of this year’s $700 award. Mr. Wilson wrote in a statement to The PEF, “[The] scholarships certainly help with college expenses, but they also provide moral support.”

For more information about The PEF, visit