A Lasting Legacy Of Learning

Family makes $10,000 donation for renovations to Cainhoy Elementary School Library in name of longtime volunteer


For most of us, the concept of altruism is defined by individual acts; we help an elderly person with their groceries, we hold the door open for someone else coming through, we write a check to support a worthy cause. But for some amongst us, those rarest of individuals, altruism is not a mere collection of acts but a calling, a way of life. Late Daniel Island resident Mary Esther Obremskey was one of the latter types, a rare individual indeed.


Obremskey was a longtime volunteer at Cainhoy Elementary School (CES) and a member of the Daniel Island Golfers for Education – a program that facilitates seniors mentoring, and particularly reading, with young students. As a stalwart, steady volunteer with that organization she read with and tutored students in teacher Patricia McKinley’s class at CES for nearly a decade until her sickness and passing in May.

And while Mary Esther’s husband of 47 years, Dr. Michael Obremskey, continues in the work his wife loved, himself now volunteering with the Golfers for Education program at CES, somehow that wasn’t enough for her family. As a way of preserving a legacy the beloved matriarch had worked so hard for, the Obremskey family started a fund in Mary Esther’s name – a collection they would ultimately donate to the school she loved. That donation took place at CES last Monday, November 14.

On the morning of the donation ceremony, three generations of the Obremskey family, the school and the community came together for the family’s presentation of a check to CES. The impact Mary Esther had on the world around her was on full display during the program, as a group of her friends, colleagues, school staffers, and fellow volunteers were there to greet them.

The purpose of the ceremony was not only to present the school with a check in the amount of $10,365, but also for the Obremskey family to come visit, have discussions with school administrators, and even take a tour of the school library and its media center where the future Mary Esther Obremskey Memorial Space will be constructed.

The Obremskey family’s donation will be used just as she would have wanted. The funds will be utilized by CEMS to remodel and redecorate the rear portion of the school’s library.

The space will be transformed and as early as next year will feature a music and art center, a place where science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics can occur (the school’s STEAM curriculum), and of course, a place for a special reading nook.
For Dr. Obremskey, who continues to call Daniel Island home, it was a momentous occasion. For him it was proof positive his wife was appreciated in full by the community she loved.


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