Good Stuff: The Country School to Receive $250,000 Grant from Zaffere Foundation

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The Country School received a generous contribution this week from the Philip A. Zaffere Foundation to establish a scholarship fund for children of significant need. Mr. Zaffere, a Federalsburg native and owner of Zaffere’s Bakery, which became Shoreman Food Technologies, passed away in January of 2016 and left a legacy built on lifelong learning, a love of animals and nature, and a deep commitment to his family and friends. His foundation gifted The Country School $100,000 and will contribute an additional $150,000 within the next 5 years.

The fund will be invested to produce income to be used toward tuition for a child who has demonstrated significant need and who exhibits the same qualities possessed by Mr. Zaffere: a deep curiosity for the sciences, a natural creativity, and an appreciation for the wonders of nature. This award will also recognize the value of diversity of all kinds.

Realizing that his small family bakery could survive only by creating new products and innovative baking processes, Zaffere began experimenting with making a crumb product. He developed and refined the formula, and designed ovens and other equipment to produce a consistently high quality product, which General Foods used in Stove Top stuffing mix. At one time the Federalsburg plant was producing all the crumb for Stove Top as well as breading for Mrs. Paul’s frozen products. One newspaper article dubbed him the “Crumb King.”

Family members and friends remember him as a shrewd businessman who also possessed a playful, mischievous quality. A loyal, compassionate, and generous friend, Zaffere recognized and cared about the needs of others, and worked quietly to meet them however he could. He faithfully visited friends and family who were ill or shut-ins, and even put his college career on hold to take over the family bakery when his father died.

Although the sale of his business left him with significant assets that enabled him to establish his foundation, Mr. Zaffere never lost touch with the ethic of hard work, determination, and persistence developed in his youth. As one whose own college education was never completed, but whose curiosity and thirst for information never ended, he valued education and fine schools highly. It is with these tenets in mind that the Philip A. Zaffere Scholarship Fund was born at The Country School. Zaffere’s nephew, John Orban, was the director of technology for 15 years; John’s wife, Cindy, is the school’s librarian and diversity director. Their sons are alumni of The Country School, as are John’s two sisters.

“Although Uncle Philip never had children of his own, he was deeply interested in quality education for all children. With this scholarship fund, families who share his commitment to education but whose significant need could not be met through standard financial aid, will

be able to make a Country School education possible for their children. I can imagine nothing which would please him more.”

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