Bench Dedication Honors Former Tourism Director

Bench Dedication Honors Former Tourism Director
A bench honoring Donna Abbott, the resort's former tourism director who passed away in 2020, is now located behind the convention center. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

OCEAN CITY– Resort officials honored former tourism director Donna Abbott with a bench and garden dedication this week.

On Monday, Town of Ocean City officials, members of the Ocean City Beautification Committee and community members gathered at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center to honor Abbott with a bench and garden dedication. Abbott, who spent more than 20 years working for the Town of Ocean City, passed away in 2020.

“I think it’s wonderful we all took the time to be here on this beautiful day,” Mayor Rick Meehan said. “I know she would appreciate it.”

Abbott, who grew up in Cambridge, was hired by the town in 1997 as public relations director. In 2012, she was appointed tourism director, a role she held until her death. Abbott oversaw destination marketing and worked closely with the town’s advertising agency to promote Ocean City as a vacation destination. Abbott was the recipient of numerous awards including two governor’s citations for marketing and public relations campaigns.

The Ocean City Beautification Committee arranged this week’s bench dedication for Aug. 15, as that would have been Abbott’s birthday. The committee planned and planted a garden alongside the teak engraved bench at the southwestern corner of the convention center property, just at the end of Convention Center Drive. Abbott’s college roommate read a poem in her honor while Meehan highlighted her love of Ocean City. He said no matter where she was she was promoting the resort.

“She always accomplished what she said she was going to and she always did it with a smile,” he said. “She never wanted recognition. Everybody spoke well of Donna.”

Abbott’s son Ryan, who said he often rides his bike to the spot where the bench now sits, thanked resort leaders for remembering his mother.

“The love that she had for her career, it was so evident,” he said. “She loved all of you that she worked with.”