WEST OCEAN CITY – Don and Pam Hastings, former owners of Donald’s Duck Shoppe in the Gold Coast Mall, recently presented the Worcester County Education Foundation a $10,000 check towards the Foundation’s $1M goal.
Residents of Ocean City since 1969, the Hastings’s generosity in the community has been consistent and abundant for decades. Pam Hastings donated thousands of hours of her time, volunteering every Sunday for 40 years at the Ocean City Animal Shelter. She retired from her shelter volunteer work in 2012. Don Hastings also spent years of service in leadership roles and fundraising for Youth and Education, as a member of the Ocean City/Berlin Optimist Club.
As avid supporters of the Worcester County Public School system, the Hastings were pleased to contribute to the newly formed Worcester County Education Foundation. Hastings explains, “We’ve supported the county schools every year and we’re very proud of the quality of education our kids are receiving. We know our contributions have played a small part in maintaining quality teachers and earning recognition as National Blue Ribbon schools. Worcester County schools have been fortunate to have pro-active, forward thinking leadership through past Superintendent, Dr. Jon Andes and today’s leader, Dr. Jerry Wilson. Both Superintendents are also smart enough to know, it takes a community to maintain great schools. Funding gaps either mean kids go without and our schools fall behind or the community steps up to help.”
The WCEF The Worcester County Education Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 was established in August of 2013 in order to provide a perpetual funding resource that can be used to fill periodic budgetary gaps, assuring that every student has equal access to a World Class Education, enabling them to function in today’s Digital college environment and to compete in a new, emerging jobs market. As WCEF Board Member, Lisa Challenger explains, “The first focus of the WCEF is to assist our county schools with Digital Conversion, by accelerating the purchase and distribution of digital learning devices so that every child K-12 has equal access to a World Class Education.”
The Foundation is asking community organizations, businesses, offices and individuals to step up and Champion Education over the next five years, to help raise $5 million dollars. All proceeds will go directly to support the Digital Conversion of our schools, to offer financial assistance (covering fees for students who are less fortunate), to offer annual teacher grants so they may purchase their own innovative learning tools and to fund an Endowment which creates a perpetual resource that can be used to fill funding gaps for the future needs of student and teachers.
Visit www.wced.foundation to learn more. As Don Hastings puts it, “I think the WCEF has the right idea ~ for anyone who loves their community, there is no better investment in its future than providing equal access to the best education possible. It’s a different world today than when I entered the workforce. These kids need the tools now, in order to be prepared on graduation day, to succeed in the new “paperless” world of college and then return to our community with the skills to lead our community. We’re actually investing in our own future.”
Pictured left to right: Superintendent of Worcester County Schools, Dr. Jerry Wilson, WCED Vice Chairman, Greg Shockley, Pam Hastings, Don Hastings, WCED Chairman, Todd Ferrante, Assist. Superintendent, Lou Taylor