The Fulcrum Foundation is proud to announce Dick Abrams as the recipient of the prestigious Archbishop’s Award at the 2023 Celebration of Light gala.
Mr. Abrams and his late wife, Sharon Abrams, have been long-time supporters of Catholic education, making a world of difference in the Archdiocese of Seattle, particularly in early childhood education (ECE). As a visionary leader in ECE, Mr. Abrams was the biggest proponent of creating the still growing $6.5 million Fulcrum Early Childhood Education Endowment in 2022.
“I am so impressed with the work that Fulcrum has done in the area of ECE,” said Mary Yamoah, principal of St. Joseph Catholic School, Vancouver. “The partnership between Dick Abrams and Fulcrum has opened up so many opportunities for our families. Not only has early learning been highlighted as a priority, resources have been allocated to enhance these programs everywhere, from teacher quality to instructional support to facilities upgrades, and so much more.”
“Mr. Abrams has been critical to the development of more quality early learning programs in the archdiocese,” said Laura Veasy, the preschool director at St. Joseph. “What a wonderful legacy Dick and Sharon Abrams created to support our youngest learners!”
The generosity of Mr. Abrams will allow Fulcrum to significantly increase support to the 1700 young students and their families in 56 early learning programs. Providing support for early learners is crucial for academic and social development.
“ECE is so important for children because it is a critical time of brain development,” said Laura. “Their brains are making connections at a more rapid pace than any other time in their lives. They need meaningful interactions with caregivers and peers to support positive development and learn the social skills they will need in school and in life.”
“In most cases, ECE is a child’s first opportunity to be in a loving and nurturing environment where they are exposed to learning in a fun and creative way,” said Mary. “The early childhood years are critical for brain development, social interactions, and future success.”
Support for early learning programs is coming at an important time, as many schools are seeking accreditation in order to provide expanded hours and care options for students and families.
“I’m not sure Mr. Abrams or other ECE donors realize the impact they have made on early learning in our archdiocese,” Laura said. “They have been a blessing to us by supporting our teachers with scholarships to get the certifications they need, funding tuition assistance for those families who need help, providing the needed funds to expand and grow our programs, and so much more. I am so grateful to Mr. Abrams and other donors for allowing us to bring more children into quality, faith-filled environments to nurture their hearts and brains. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me’ which is exactly what support for early learning allows!”
“Thank you does not seem adequate enough, but I would like to express my extreme gratitude to Mr. Abrams and other ECE donors for saying yes to this calling,” said Mary. “They identified a great need and have been very passionate and driven to ensure action and progress is happening. What a beautiful gift that will benefit children, families, schools, and parishes for years to come!”
Fulcrum will present Mr. Abrams with the Archbishop’s Award on January 27 at the Celebration of Light.
Congratulations, Mr. Abrams, and thank you for everything you have done for Catholic education!