How are you? I am pleased and honored to be writing to you as the new Executive Director of the Friends of VI National Park.
Summer is fully upon us on St. John! Our seas glistening that gorgeous green-blue hue are calm, as are the streets of Cruz Bay. For the next few weeks, we review requests for support from Virgin Islands National Park for the coming year. Great ideas, research proposals, continued projects, and new suggestions come to the table!
Alongside each project or proposal is a budget, and next to that is a question mark. We have to make tough decisions and do our best to predict the funds we can raise. Your invaluable support is the difference between projects going ahead or not! Thank you to everyone who has already responded to the summer appeal that we recently mailed out. Your support matters!
One exciting new program that is happening is the establishment of an education endowment in honor of Mr. Noble Samuel, a great Virgin Islands National Park Ranger, and beloved community leader.
A few months ago a kind couple visited the Friends office to share a story about how they met Mr. Samuel in 1968. Through his interpretative talks at Caneel, Mr. Samuel opened their eyes to St. John. They fell in love with the island and bought a vacation home for their children to grow up in. Now, their children are grown with children of their own and they want to give back to the island with a legacy gift.
Their generous anonymous gift will offer a yearly college scholarship and paid summer internship in perpetuity to St. John youth! What a legacy, and what an honor for the Friends to award the Noble Samuel college scholarship year after year!
I look forward to fulfilling the Friends mission with your ongoing support and connecting with you more in the coming months.
Tonia Lovejoy, Executive Director