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Daniel J. Kobasic Foundation donates more than $351K to non-profit organizations

The biggest donation, $178,964, was given to Holy Name Catholic School.
Principal of Holy Name Catholic School Joseph Carlson accepts a $178,964 donation from Todd C....
Principal of Holy Name Catholic School Joseph Carlson accepts a $178,964 donation from Todd C. LaFave, CPA, who works as financial manager for the Daniel J. Kobasic Foundation. The funds will go toward HNCS teacher salaries.(Daniel J. Kobasic Foundation)
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 3:08 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Daniel J. Kobasic (DJK) Foundation recently made several donations to area non-profit organizations. The value of the donations totaled $351,964.

Holy Name Catholic School is pleased to be one of the recipients. The DJK Foundation’s latest donation of $178,964 to the school is an ongoing gift to bring HNCS teacher salaries to parity with local public school teacher salaries.

The DJK Foundation also made the following gifts:

  • $110,000 to The Bishop Noa Home for Senior Citizens
  • $20,000 to The Gary Abrahamson, Jr. Memory Care Center (GAJMCC)
  • $20,000 ($5,000 each) to the four Escanaba/Wells area Catholic parishes: St. Joseph/St. Patrick’s Parish, St. Anne’s Parish, St. Anthony of Padua Parish and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
  • $10,000 to Escanaba Public Safety Department
  • $10,000 to U.P. Steam and Gas Engine Association
  • $3,000 to Friends of The Escanaba Public Library

Daniel J. Kobasic (Holy Name High School Class of 1964) was an Escanaba native and long-time entrepreneur. Upon his death on Nov. 30, 2017, the DJK Foundation was established, with a mission to enable the growth, education and well-being of motivated individuals whose work positively contributes to humanity.

The DJK Foundation will continue to support a number of deserving causes in honor of Daniel, who was guided by a strong work ethic and determination. According to the foundation’s financial manager, he often sought the best way to support people and organizations with values similar to his own.

“Dan believed that a strong work ethic was a virtue. I knew him for more than twenty years and worked with him for more than fifteen,” said Todd C. LaFave, a local CPA who also works as financial manager of the Daniel J. Kobasic Foundation. “He would routinely tell me and others that success was out there for everyone; you just had to work for it. His life’s work is now giving back to the causes he respected and believed in. It’s humbling to be able to implement his vision of helping the local community where he worked and succeeded. I’m glad to be a part of his legacy.”

Recipients of the gifts are extremely thankful to the foundation and for Kobasic’s generosity.

“We are very grateful for Daniel Kobasic’s belief in what the Memory Care Center does,” GAJMCC Board Vice President Sister Gloria Schultz said, “and how it supports the mission of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres to reach out to those with memory issues.”

The Bishop Noa Home is also thankful for the Foundation’s belief in the Mission of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres.

“We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the Daniel J. Kobasic Foundation as well as for his belief in the ministry that is provided at the Bishop Noa Home,” said Administrator Jamie LaFave. “The Daniel J. Kobasic Foundation’s donation toward our expansion plans will support an enhanced infrastructure at the Bishop Noa Home.”

Holy Name Catholic School Principal Joseph Carlson also appreciates the generosity—and tenacity—of Dan Kobasic.

“Dan has always been one to make the impossible possible – from his humble beginnings, to opening a pizza restaurant, to becoming a very successful shipyard owner and builder,” Carlson said. "His legacy, even after his passing, has made the impossible, yet worthy, dream of paying our teachers a just wage possible. I appreciate his family and the foundation’s board of directors for continuing Dan’s work of making the impossible possible.

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