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Economics Arkansas Foundation to Receive $50,000 Gift from the R.E. Lee Wilson Trust Foundation

Economics Arkansas Foundation to Receive $50,000 Gift from the R.E. Lee Wilson Trust Foundation

For more information, contact:
Elizabeth Sullivan, Foundation Director
 February 20, 2020

For Immediate Release
For Release to Statewide Media 

Donation to serve as matching gift to kick off inaugural legacy campaign 

LITTLE ROCK–The Economics Arkansas Foundation will receive a $50,000 gift from the R.E. Lee Wilson Trust Foundation of Little Rock, as was announced at the quarterly board of directors meeting today. The gift serves as a matching gift to kick off a three-year, $3 million legacy campaign to endow the Foundation, the fundraising division of Economics Arkansas, a nonprofit educational organization.

“We are deeply thankful for this generous gift from our longtime friend Perry Wilson and the Wilson family,” said Ray Hobbs, chair of the Economics Arkansas Foundation board of directors. “This contribution launches a first-of-its-kind campaign in the history of our organization that will make a huge difference to Arkansas teachers and students.”

The gift will match initial donations to the Economics Arkansas Foundation as part of the Legacy Campaign, which is designed to raise $3 million through 2022. This amount would boost the current endowment of the Foundation from $2 to $5 million, benefitting Economics Arkansas programs. The organization provides economic and personal finance education to Arkansas teachers and students, training more than 2,800 teachers and impacting approximately 175,000 students each year. With increased contributions from the Foundation, Economics Arkansas could expand staff and resources to offer professional development training and support to more Arkansas educators. 

“It is my honor and privilege to be associated with an organization as great as Economics Arkansas, and to be in a position to offer some help,” said Perry Wilson at the board meeting. “My father was involved with Economics Arkansas for many years before he passed away, and he instilled in me a passion for education. It’s a personal and professional goal of mine to see economic education taught in all grades, starting in Pre-K and continuing through high school. With this gift, I challenge my peers to support that goal. Knowing how to thrive in our free-market economy and how to budget money could be the key to solving many of the problems folks are facing these days.”

Perry Wilson, managing member at Barber Law Firm PLLC in Little Rock, is currently serving the last of his three-year term as chair of the Economics Arkansas board of directors. Perry also serves on the Economics Arkansas Foundation board of directors. His late father, Mike Wilson, served 29 years on the Economics Arkansas board. He and his family previously owned Lee Wilson & Company of Wilson, AR.

About Economics Arkansas Foundation: The Economics Arkansas Foundation was launched in 2016 with a $2 million lead gift from the Walton Family Foundation to ensure the longevity and sustainability of Economics Arkansas.

About Economics Arkansas: Economics Arkansas (through the Arkansas Council on Economic Education) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962 by Dr. Arch Ford and led by Dr. Bessie B. Moore to promote economic literacy in Arkansas. Its mission is to equip PreK-12 schools with standards-based resources and professional development to teach economics, personal finance and the free-enterprise system using practical, innovative and inspiring methods so that Arkansas students may master an understanding of economics and personal finance and apply that knowledge for success in the free-enterprise system.