Over the past two decades, the CAN DO Community Foundation has enriched the lives of local high school and college students, as well as young student musicians attending Ferrwood Music Camp.
Because of the generous support of the community, three scholarship programs are awarded annually and include: Penn State Hazleton Scholarships; Junior Leadership grants through a program named after the founder of CAN DO titled the Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award; and Camperships awarded to students at Ferrwood Music Camp through the generosity of annual named camperships funded by donors as well as a program recognizing CAN DO’s first director of industrial development, Joseph Yenchko.
The Penn State Scholarships are fully endowed and will provide assistance perpetually to students attending the Hazleton campus. Over 50 scholarships have been awarded since they were established.
Since its inception, the Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award has provided nearly 100 grants to juniors attending Hazleton Area High School, Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences, Immanuel Christian School, Marian High School, MMI Preparatory School and Weatherly Area High School.
The Dessen scholarship recognizes area high school students and their volunteer efforts in the community enabling them to further their experience of service and learning leadership and teamwork skills. A team of judges undertakes the annual task of reviewing applications and awarding the grants.
Camperships allow our area youth who may not have the means to attend camp and/or have exhibited civic, academic and community service to fulfill their dream of advancing their musical interest in a fun and fulfilling atmosphere. Ferrwood continues to be a vacation dream to kids as it has for more than 55 years. While there is an army of volunteers assisting at the camp, and a multitude of donated goods and services, there are annual expenses to keep Ferrwood viable. An example is the cost to bring nationally-recognized music instructors to the camp. Creative thank you cards and letters are posted throughout the camp as well as on the Foundation’s social media during the season.
Gary F. Lamont, CAN DO Community Foundation president, emphasized that these three programs augment the focus of the CAN DO Community Foundation through its mission of “C” conservation, “P” preservation and “R” reclamation that support worthwhile projects that involve distressed landscape as well as historic and other locally significant buildings that benefit the Greater Hazleton community. “CPR – Breathing New Life into Our Community” is the foundation’s slogan, referring to its mission.
The foundation’s support of these projects is made possible in part through generous contributions to the annual fund drive. Its endowment has grown from various sources including the donation of real estate, individual and business gifts, memorial donations, foundations and investment income.