In remembrance of the late W. Kevin O’Donnell, the CAN DO Community Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the ‘W. Kevin O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship Fund’. This fund, created in collaboration with CAN DO, Inc. and The Luzerne Foundation, seeks to honor O’Donnell’s legacy and his years of commitment to community service.
The W. Kevin O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship will support a $2,500 annual scholarship to provide post-secondary tuition assistance for qualifying students residing within the geographic area of the Hazleton Area School District. Qualifying applicants must be admitted to and/or attending an accredited college or university to study Engineering, Architecture, Construction, Economic Development, or a similar field. Scholarships will be awarded based on community involvement and academic achievement, and will be selected by a committee of individuals representing CAN DO, Inc., the O’Donnell Family, and the Luzerne Foundation.
When asked about the O’Donnell Scholarship, CAN DO’s Chair of the Board, Charles Burkhardt said, “Kevin was a man devoted to his family, CAN DO, and our community. By having this scholarship to honor his memory, we not only help our local students further their education, but we also ensure his legacy of improving the community we call home continues. I know he would be proud.”
Applications are currently being accepted for students interested in applying for the scholarship and can be found on the Luzerne Foundation website or by searching “O’Donnell” on the Luzerne Foundation’s website.
Kevin O’Donnell played a pivotal role in the economic development of the Greater Hazleton area. He first joined CAN DO as the organization’s second hired employee in 1973. Originally serving in the capacity of Assistant Director, Kevin was then promoted to Executive Director and in 1995, his title was later changed to President & CEO, a title of which he held until his retirement in 2020.
During his time as President & CEO of CAN DO, Kevin helped bring regional, national, and global companies to Greater Hazleton – resulting in over 20,000 family sustaining jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars generated annually for the local economy. In addition to the numerous accolades and accomplishments Kevin achieved during his 47-year tenure with CAN DO, he was also one of the key incorporators of the CAN DO Community Foundation in 1992.
For over 20 years, the CAN DO Community Foundation has supported worthwhile community projects that contribute to the improvement of the Greater Hazleton Community. Initiated through seed funding from CAN DO, the Foundation has played a role in numerous initiatives to improve the quality of life for the Greater Hazleton community through the generosity of individuals, businesses, and other foundations who share in the commitment to make a positive difference in creating a more vibrant community through efforts centered around conservation, preservation and reclamation.
Donations previously made in Kevin’s Memory have been allocated to the scholarship fund and anyone who wishes to make additional contributions may do so through the CAN DO Community Foundation’s website, www.candocommunityfoundation.com. Additional dollars will allow for the possibility of increasing the scholarship amount in the future as the fund grows.