In 1983, the Permanent Endowment was presented with its first gift in the amount of $60,000 from the estate of Ruth J. Bogan establishing the Ruth J. Bogan – Ruth Redding Memorial Fund. This Fund was created to honor Ruth Bogan who, in the words of her friend Ruth Redding, was a “gallant woman who loved beauty, who loved the Vineyard and who believed ‘anyone can do anything.’” In her letter of instruction to the Endowment, Ruth Redding requested that some funds be used to “encourage fine craftsmanship, creativity and ingenuity in many fields through such awards as gifts, prizes and scholarships.” Based on that wish, the Permanent Endowment established the Creative Living Award to recognize members of the Vineyard community who embody the spirit of Ruth Bogan and have contributed significantly to the quality of life on the Island.
Since 1983, the Creative Living Award has honored those who have worked to “preserve and nourish” the Vineyard and to “help the present inhabitants to realize the value of their treasure.” From artists to farmers and doctors to volunteers, the award has highlighted the accomplishments of individuals and groups who have served the Island community well.
The Creative Living Award evening also includes a drawing for guests to win the opportunity to award $1,000 to Island nonprofits. This drawing is made possible by the eleven members of the Permanent Endowment Board who donate $1,000 to demonstrate their commitment to fostering philanthropy on the Vineyard.