John Early named to receive Spirit of the Vineyard award

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John Early of West Tisbury will be this year's recipient of the 2014 Spirit of the Vineyard Award. — Photo courtesy of MVY Radio

Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard announced on Monday that it has selected John Early of West Tisbury to receive the 2014 Spirit of the Vineyard Award at a ceremony scheduled at 2 pm, at the West Tisbury Library on Sunday, December 28.

The annual award is given to a person whose work with local nonprofit organizations “…has made a difference to individuals and the community as a whole.”

Those familiar with the many community roles Mr. Early has filled on Martha’s Vineyard would agree that he fits the description.

The criteria for selection, according to a press release, “includes selflessness, the range and depth of service performed, the length of volunteer service and the effect on the quality of life of the individuals who received help and for the Island community as a whole.”

Over the years, Mr. Early has earned a reputation for quality construction as the head of John Early Builders and an untiring devotion to community service. He has served as a selectman, Martha’s Vineyard Commission chairman, and board member on numerous Island organizations.

After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in political science, John entered the Peace Corps where he spent four years in Northern India working on irrigation projects to help farmers feed a growing nation, according to a press release. “At the end of his Peace Corps service, the lifelong summer resident returned to the Vineyard and found home.”