$5M donated to Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools

Pamela Edstrom and Joseph Lamberton have been by no means ones to broadcast their philanthropy.

Close pals, even members of the family, not often knew the small print of the couple’s historical past of donations to colleges within the Vancouver space over the previous couple of a long time.

Today, Edstrom and Lamberton’s legacy of generosity is a secret now not — because the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools introduced final week that that they had obtained a $5 million donation from the household’s property.

The reward, which was meant to take away poverty-related limitations and supply mentoring alternatives for younger college students with developmental obstacles, is the biggest single donation within the basis’s historical past.

Edstrom, who died in 2017, noticed an extended, fruitful profession as one of many pioneering faces of Microsoft’s public relations. She went on to co-found Waggener Edstrom Communications, which grew to become one of many largest public relations corporations on the earth.

Lamberton, who died final 12 months, was a Portland native who led a profitable profession in steelwork and building. His firm, Action Steel, designed and constructed the enduring Oregon Convention Center — the twin towers that now form Portland’s skyline.

Upon settling down collectively in Salmon Creek within the Nineteen Nineties, the couple searched for a brand new ardour.

Mark Goodman, Lamberton’s son-in-law, stated the couple’s curiosity in training was sparked by considered one of their neighbors, who was a trainer.

“Their neighbor was telling them that among the children in school didn’t have winter coats,” Goodman stated. “Joe heard that, he thought ‘That’s not proper.’ The subsequent day, he went out and acquired a bunch of coats, introduced them down to the college and informed the academics to begin handing them out to whoever wanted them.”

After seeing how their very own grandchildren in Vancouver benefited from early studying help, the 2 grew to become huge believers within the energy of early training. They went on to work with the inspiration and the district to launch initiatives with the intent to take away socioeconomic limitations to studying at a younger age.

Goodman stated the couple’s selflessness was nothing in need of inspirational.

“They actually needed to make an influence in the neighborhood and assist these children. It was actually below the radar. They by no means took any credit score for it,” he stated. “Most of the individuals shut to the household didn’t know they have been doing it.”

“They have been each huge believers in that you are able to do what you possibly can’t, you shouldn’t have limits positioned on you. That was their intention, to let individuals obtain no matter they need to obtain.”

The Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors just lately named its Early Childhood Evaluation Center — which gives evaluation companies for youngsters aged 3 by 5 experiencing developmental delays — after the couple in recognition of their years of donations and help.

“Their extraordinary funding in our group reinforces the transformational energy of training to change lives,” stated Nada Wheelock, the chief director of the inspiration in a press launch final week.

“Pam Edstrom and Joe Lamberton’s reward will present direct help to Vancouver college students and VPS applications for generations to come.”


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