MOUNT PLEASANT -- The Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum opened its new Education Center on Tuesday with a demonstration of some of the center's high-tech capabilities and a reception for those whose donations helped the center become a reality.

Jack Hoey, chairman of the Patriots Point Foundation, told guests aboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown that The Post and Courier Foundation made a major gift at the outset of the process for planning the center. "Without that gift, we would not be here today," Hoey said.

He also thanked the members of the Patriots Point Foundation, World War II veterans groups and several major donors, including the town of Mount Pleasant, Piggly Wiggly, Santee Cooper,

Force Protection, Regions Bank, Carolina First Bank, Southcoast Bank and First Federal Savings and Loan Association.

Ned Forney, director of education at Patriots Point, said the center has already been visited by every fifth-grader in Charleston County's schools and he thanked county schools Superintendent Nancy McGinley for what he described as a great partnership with the school district.

"Thank you on behalf of the children," McGinley said. "Passing on our history is so important."