Norfolk Southern announced Friday an initial $300,000 donation, without condition, to the East Palestine City School District to support the district’s academics, athletics, extra-curricular activities, and its long-term contingency planning regarding the impacts of the derailment. The donation comes after Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw visited East Palestine, where he heard concerns from residents first-hand. Each of the district’s three schools — East Palestine Elementary, East Palestine Middle, and East Palestine High schools — will receive $100,000.
On Tuesday, Shaw met with Dwayne Pavkovich, athletic director and assistant principal; Sarai Dutton, principal of East Palestine Elementary School; and Tony DelBoccio, principal of East Palestine High School, to hear concerns they had following the Feb. 3 derailment and to inform them of the donation. The school officials and Shaw discussed many issues. One issue centered around the cancellation of athletic events as a result of the incident.
East Palestine schools have been cleared by local, state, and federal officials to safely host athletic and extra-curricular activities; however, schools outside the district have voluntarily forfeited games set to be held within the district. These cancellations have caused a loss of revenue for East Palestine sports programs and neighboring businesses.
“As soon as I heard that the East Palestine Bulldogs were not able to play in revenue-generating games, we took immediate action to help this community. We continue to be committed to helping East Palestine residents get back on their feet. We are in this community for the long haul, and our goal is to see the community thrive again,” said Shaw.
Norfolk Southern has committed that this initial donation of $300,000 to the East Palestine City School District will be followed by additional, future financial support.
On the same day, Norfolk Southern reimbursed the Village of East Palestine Fire Department approximately $825,000 for fire equipment used in the derailment response. This follows a $220,000 reimbursement to replace equipment for the first responders.
Today’s donations to East Palestine elementary, middle, and high schools and to the Village of East Palestine Fire Department bring the company’s financial commitment to East Palestine to nearly $8 million, with more to come.