Carol Potasnik Greenberg was 70 years old when her daughter in law told her she couldn’t see her grandchildren if she didn’t stop drinking. She never drank again, her son told a crowd of people who attended the formal dedication Sunday of Vineyard House, a community for people in recovery from substance abuse.

Joel Greenberg said it was that decision by his mother, who died in 2013 at the age of 85, that prompted him and his wife, Marcy Gringlas, seasonal Chilmark residents, to become major donors to Vineyard House. One of the residential buildings bears Mrs. Greenberg’s name.

“My mother came from a family of big eaters, big drinkers and big hearts,” he said. “That upbringing provided her with grit and daring and the desire to help those in need. But her greatest act of courage came in 1997 when she admitted to herself she was an alcoholic.”

Some 75 people attended the brief ceremony and reception, held exactly a year after the modular buildings that make up the campus arrived by barge on the Vineyard and seven months after the facility was officially opened. In contrast to the opening ceremony in December, the campus is now fully landscaped with grass, trees, walkways and benches.

“It wasn’t very long ago that this space was really barren,” said Mark Jenkins, president of the board of directors. “We want to demonstrate that if we improve the physical environment, we can improve the ability of people to stay sober.”

Vineyard House was founded by volunteers in1997 to provide safe, substance-free housing for people in the early stages of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The new campus can house up to 17 men and seven women in separate houses.

Fees paid by residents are subsidized by donations. The main fundraising event for Vineyard House is the annual Water Tasting by the Sea, to be held this year at the Capt. Flanders House in Chilmark on August 6.

For information about Vineyard House, visit