Martha (Guzek) Hackathorn Memorial Vocational Scholastic Award Established
Several individuals and movements have been credited with the famous quote, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Regardless of who said it first, putting the words into action is what really counts. Lara Williams, daughter of long-time Paden City resident, Martha Hackathorn, and herself a resident of “Wildcat town” for a period of time, is making the most of that quote. In working alongside the Paden City Foundation, Williams is providing funding for current students at Paden City High School who want to pursue a vocational career through the Wetzel County Technical Center or the Mid Ohio Valley Technical Institute (in St. Marys). Willams and The Paden City Foundation, Inc. are proud to announce the initiation of the Martha (Guzek) Hackathorn Memorial Vocational Scholastic Award. Rodney McWilliams, president of The Foundation commented, “Lara contacted me several weeks ago to get this started. She wants very much to provide some funding for students to purchase needed items when they undertake courses at either of the tech centers that specialize in vocational educational. These items include welding helmets, steel-toed boots, medical scrubs and such. We spoke with the staffs of both centers and contacted the guidance department at Paden City High School to evaluate the need and get an idea of the costs the students encounter when they enroll in these classes. Lara is so passionate about helping students get a good start with a career and of course, the Foundation is always here and available to help make opportunities possible. It is Lara’s financial funding that is making it possible and the Foundation is managing the program on her behalf.”
Martha Hackathorn passed away on November, 23, 2020 at the age of 74. She was born and lived the majority of her life in Moundsville before moving to New Martinsville in 2012. She was fervent supporter of his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s school activities from elementary through high school. Her medical career including serving as Director of Nursing at Mount View Health Care Center and as a charge nurse at Reynolds Memorial Hospital.
Martha was a very social person with many friends; she loved shopping at Boscov’s and her trips to Dairy Queen. Her daughter, Lara moved to Paden City in 1994 to raise her family and thus began Martha’s involvement with activities at Paden City Elementary and High Schools. It was Martha’s dedication to healthcare that Lara wanted to keep alive. Williams added, “I want to honor my mother’s career in nursing and help younger people get started in a career they choose.
I wanted to focus on vocational educational because for many students, it is the career path they want to take and it gets them in the workforce. I realize four-year college isn’t the choice of everyone and the financial cost of vocational schooling can be an obstacle for students. I want to help them over that hurdle and thought this scholastic award would be a good way to achieve that goal.” Williams’ children attended and graduated from Paden City High School and her mother Martha was a true Wildcat fan, often attending schools events where her grandchildren were participating. Currently, Martha’s great-granddaughter Jocelyn runs on the school’s cross country and track teams, plays basketball and is a cheerleader. When Jocelyn was an eighth grader, Martha donated roses for each of the girls on their senior night as a memento of their special evening.
Plans for the new scholastic award call for students at PCHS who will be enrolled in vocational courses at either the Wetzel County Tech Center or MOVTI to make submission to the guidance department at PCHS with the Foundation and Williams making awards.
“We plan to start the process with the upcoming school term in the fall of 2021 and we will provide the appropriate forms for the students to use when submitting proof of expense, etc.,” McWililams added.
The Paden City Foundation, Inc. is a charitable trust who mission is to manage funds for the betterment of the community and surround area.
It is the primary charitable organization in Paden City with funds held in trust for the benefit of Paden City schools, students of PCHS, the city park and pool, public library and owns and manages the Paden City Museum. For information regarding the Paden City Foundation and ways to contribute to an organization in the town, contact Rodney McWilliams, president at P.O. Box 233, Paden City, WV 26159 or phone 304-482-9684.