Spark Campaign Aims To Help Lower Shore Education

Spark Campaign Aims To Help Lower Shore Education
Pictured, from left, are Jim Thomas, board chair, CFES; Greg Shockley, Board member, Worcester County Education Foundation; Susan Purnell, chair, Wicomico County Education Foundation; Tom Davis, assistant superintendent, Somerset County Public Schools; and Erica Joseph, president, CFES. Submitted Photo

SALISBURY – The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) recently unveiled its Spark Campaign in honor of the foundation’s 35th anniversary. The campaign aims to provide more than $210,000 in combined funding for the three education foundations serving the Lower Eastern Shore.

The Wicomico County Education Foundation, Worcester County Education Foundation and Somerset County Public Schools will be the beneficiaries of this anniversary initiative.

“The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore has a long history of philanthropic leadership with an impact that is felt throughout our region,” said CFES President Erica Joseph. “We are continuing this tradition in our 35th anniversary year as a way to celebrate investing in the future of our community – our kids!”

From April 4 to Oct.15, the participating education foundations will each raise at least $35,000. The CFES will then provide up to $35,000 for each education foundation in a 1:1 match. The goal is for the education foundations to raise a combined $105,000 matched by an additional $105,000 from the CFES for a total of $210,000 for shore education needs.

“The Spark Campaign is a unique and welcomed opportunity for Somerset County that will benefit our communities for years to come” said John Gaddis, superintendent of Somerset County Public Schools. “By uniting together with the Community Foundation, the three county education systems can do more for our students.”

The education foundations will each be empowered to use their funds to best meet the needs of local students. Programs facilitated by the Spark Campaign will help ensure that students not only have high quality facilities, teachers, and curricula, but also the resources to nurture creativity, aid students in times of struggle, encourage them to strive for personal success, and allow them to thrive in the classroom and the community.

“Our students are the heart of our community, and we are working hard to give them the tools they need to be successful. The Spark Campaign highlights education as an allied community priority,” said Ray Thompson, chair of the Worcester County Education Foundation.

“Education is a partnership that is enhanced when we can all come together,” says Susan Purnell, chair of the Wicomico County Education Foundation. “The Community Foundation’s Spark Campaign is our opportunity to double the impact of every dollar.”

Donors can give to a specific education foundation of their choosing or have their gift equally distributed between the three counties. To learn more about the Spark Campaign, visit