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Funding Our Future

Date: February 13, 2017

Funding Our Future

When Nancy Rothermel received a handmade, four-foot thank you card in the shape of a school bus decorated with children's photos and covered in handwritten signatures of all sizes and colors, she was excited to say the least.

“It was such a nice gesture,” she said. “I really was taken back by it. To create something like that … it took time and thoughtfulness. I appreciate seeing the impact my uncle’s fund is having at Gibbs.”

Nancy’s uncle, Robert “Driz” Young, passed away in 2012. Bob came from a low-income family, and was willing to work hard for what he wanted in life as evidenced by his successful career in sales. After graduating from Canton McKinley High School, he joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and was later employed by the State Highway Patrol in Mansfield before starting his own manufacturing sales representative business.

As part of his estate plans, he created a designated fund through Stark Community Foundation to support his favorite charities in perpetuity, long after his passing.

“Bob wanted to find a way to give back and help others,” said Nancy. “When you get older, you really start thinking about your past and what is important to you.”

One of the places that played a significant role in Bob’s life was Gibbs Elementary School. Bob graduated from Gibbs, and actually grew up across the street from the school.

Annually, Gibbs receives a grant to support the school and its programming through The Robert “Driz” Young Designated Charitable Fund. Most recently, students at Gibbs had a funfilled and educational spring thanks to Bob’s generosity. As a celebration of growth and learning, students traveled to Zoar Historic Village, Camp Buckeye, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, North Canton Skate Center and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Each grade level attended a field trip that directly supported Ohio’s learning standards, and teachers were able to connect classroom instruction with the theme or focus of each trip.

“These trips are a very important part of motivating our students in maintaining good citizenship and excellent behavior,” said Myra Watkins, principal of Gibbs Elementary School. “This grant enabled all of our students to attend educational and exciting field trips that we otherwise could not have afforded for them to attend.”

“I know from experience that field trips are expensive, and the kids really need that extra attention,” said Nancy. “I like that they are exposing children to so much inside and outside of the
classroom.”

Gibbs will continue to receive an annual grant from Bob’s designated fund.

“The staff, students and families of Gibbs would like to express our deepest thanks to The Robert “Driz” Young Designated Charitable Fund for the continued, generous support of our journey through education,” added Myra. “His generosity will continue to impact the Gibbs community for years to come.”

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