To the Editor:

This lifetime New Yorker and former weekender in Washington began full-time life in our wonderful little town in 2009.

Among the most meaningful opportunities I found here for building a joyful and fulfilling life is the chance to be an active participant in a uniquely caring and generous community.

This year, the Washington Scholarship Fund, on whose board I serve, celebrates its 50th year of offering tuition aid to qualified local high school graduates.

During that time, it has provided more than $2 million to hundreds of students.

No other of my past board memberships or volunteer activities has brought me the same sense of purpose, community dedication and satisfaction.

Drop in to the market, pick up your mail at the post office, or stop in to Washington Supply -- all town meeting places -- and invariably someone says, "Oh, you're with the scholarship fund. We can't thank you enough for the help my son (daughter, grandchild, etc.) got! It's made all the difference in his life."

Or, sit in the Shepaug Valley School auditorium for the June award-giving ceremony and marvel at the students who gratefully accept our acknowledgment and scholarships: bright, passionate, accomplished, dedicated and determined young adults whose dreams of benefitting from a college education are now realities.

Their future is our future -- our community's and our country's.

The generosity of time, effort, and money from our volunteers, our neighbors and friends is the crown of the jewel we are so fortunate to live in.

Joan Kaplan

Washington