Madalyn Cooke’s Legacy of Teaching Continues With Recent Grant to New Danville

By: Dion McInnis
| Published 06/29/2021


WILLIS, TX -- When Madalyn Cooke passed away in 2019 after a valiant battle with cancer, her husband, attorney Walter Cooke, knew he wanted to keep her legacy alive by preserving her love of kids and education. He established the Madalyn Cooke Foundation and a recent contribution from the foundation to New Danville, a nonprofit rural community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, continues revealing the life-changing effects of education.

Walter was an early board member at New Danville. His foundation has now twice supported New Danville’s acquisition of technology, most recently for laptops and iPads to help New Danville clients (affectionately known as Wranglers) learn. It is a good thing to learn some basic computer skills, but altogether different if the technology gives you the power to tell someone how you feel or where you hurt when you had no words for it before. “Good” doesn’t even begin to describe the outcomes made possible by the foundation’s contribution.

On a recent visit to New Danville, Wranglers and Wrangler IIs (those needing additional assistance with their greater challenges) showed off for Walter what they were capable of doing because of the new equipment purchased with funds from the Foundation. Wranglers shared their abilities in keyboarding -- some intend to use their new skills to write résumés for jobs off- or on-site – as well as in designing artistic works. Wrangler IIs showed how they could trace letters, color characters and communicate with specialized apps designed for people facing significant intellectual or developmental disabilities.

“I was impressed with the many ways the equipment can be used,” Walter said. “Madalyn loved education, giving her heart and soul to it. I am sure that she would be pleased to see the type of learning that is occurring at New Danville due, in part, to the support our foundation can provide in her honor. New Danville has come a long way over the years and I am proud to have able to be of service over the years.”

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