OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund receives $10,000 donation

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 4/15/2013

The OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund received an unexpected boost on Friday, April 12, when Joanne Palladino of Laurel Springs, NJ, made a surprise appearance at the spring meeting of the OOIDA Board of Directors.  Palladino presented a check for $10,000 to help young people of OOIDA members achieve their dreams of receiving a secondary education.

Photo by Nikohle Ellis

Joanne Palladino, longtime companion of the late Bob Driscoll Jr., presented the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund with a $10,000 donation at the OOIDA Board of Directors meeting on April 12. Palladino presented the donation to Bill Rode (left), chairman of the scholarship committee, and OOIDA President Jim Johnston.

Palladino told Land Line on Monday, April 15, that she was inspired to donate the money to the scholarship fund in memory of Bob Driscoll Jr., her beloved companion for 27 years. Driscoll, who passed away from colon cancer in 2003, served on the OOIDA Board of Directors and as the Association’s general vice president.

“Bob worked so hard for OOIDA and I wanted to do something to honor him and also honor education because he didn’t have an education, but he knew the importance of having one,” Palladino said.

Palladino, who taught second and third grade, as well as elementary Spanish for 37 years for the Lindenwold, NJ, School District, said she thought the time was right to make the trip to Grain Valley. It’s been nearly 10 years since she’s been back for a Board of Directors’ meeting.

“The last time I was here was at OOIDA’s 30th anniversary and not long after Bob’s passing,” she said. “It was fitting that I came back and honored him for OOIDA’s 40th anniversary. A few people knew I was coming, but nobody knew I was going to make a donation to the scholarship fund.”

Since 1998, the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $220,000 in scholarship money to help winners achieve their dreams of going to college or trade school.

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