Nov 13, 2013
A capacity crowd celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence at its annual gala November 13 at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle. The Fund, which raises money to pay for enrichment programs in New Rochelle's public schools, honored Yankee legend Mariano Rivera, Say Yes to Education President Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey (NRHS '83), renowned businessman and philanthropist Jerome Kohlberg (NRHS '43) and Dr. Steven Safyer, President and CEO of Montefiore Health System. Each spoke eloquently about the importance of public education and the strength of the New Rochelle school district with its diverse population. "It's all about the kids," said Rivera. Andrea Mitchell (NRHS '63) anchor of Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC and NBC's Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent, surprised the audience with a video greeting, extolling the virtues of her education in New Rochelle as pivotal to her success as a journalist. The evening was hosted by NY1's Errol Louis (NRHS '80).
Michael Weissman, the auctioneer, and a New Rochelle parent, urged the enthusiastic crowd to bid for Mariano Rivera memorabilia, including shirts, hats and balls, as the Yankee great jumped in with his own lively encouragement. "Come on," he urged. "You can do better. It's for the kids." Five New Rochelle High School seniors were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the High School community: Jocelyne Oliveros, Torin DiSalvo, Courtney Mills, Ashley Wiggins and Matthew Ricker. Their speeches and leadership qualities demonstrated the promise of the next generation. The PAVE Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Derrick James rocked the room with an enthusiastic rendition of Shambala. For some of the performers, it was just a warm-up for the school's music students to perform at an iconic New York concert hall in 2015.
The Fund is working to enhance programming, outreach and development. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Fund's Executive Director, Susan Weisman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.