Pierce establishes 5 new scholarships at WDC

The scholarships will be $1,000 each and named after community members.

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Superintendent Lee Westrum accepts a donation from Erin Pierce and Toby Pierce, which will establish five $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to 2021 graduating seniors. Photo by Dana Cantleberry/WDC Schools

Toby Pierce & Associates Ltd. is contributing funds to establish five $1,000 scholarships to be given to 2021 Wadena-Deer Creek graduating seniors.

WDC 1987 graduate and Toby Pierce & Associates Ltd. owner Erin Pierce wanted to establish scholarships that would honor individuals who’ve been a positive influence in her life.

Those individuals to have a scholarship named in their honor have connections to the school district and community: Bernard and Therese Pavek; Lowell and Kathy Rosium; Nancy Johnson; Judy Erdahl; Kent and Dr. Shaneen Schmidt.

“I decided to recognize those people that were very important in my life, both as a child and a young woman. They played an instrumental part in my life, to be a good citizen to the community. Those people that support women in local business. So why not give a gift to those starting out in adulthood, while appreciating those that were instrumental to where the donation came from,” Erin said.

Pierce joined her father, Toby, in the insurance business in 1998 and purchased the business from him in 2014 when he semi-retired.


The Pierce family has a long and impressive connection to the Wadena community. Dr. Charles Pierce was one of the first doctors in Wadena. Toby graduated from Wadena High School in 1955 and Erin’s children, Colton and Kelsie, are graduates of Wadena-Deer Creek.

WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum expressed his appreciation on behalf of the school district for the Toby Pierce & Associates scholarships.

“A sincere thank you to Toby Pierce & Associates for the generous donation to the scholarship fund. These five scholarships will have a big impact for the students that receive them and for that, we are grateful,” Westrum said.

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