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Rockville Centre Education Foundation Raises Money for Classroom Initiatives at 29th Annual Gala

The Rockville Centre Education Foundation held its 29th fundraising gala on April 6 at the Cherry Valley Country Club in Garden City, during which it honored those who have enhanced Rockville Centre through technology.

Dough Eichler,left, picked a box for his chance to win a raffle prize. South Side sophomores Maggie O’Brien and Jack Negroni walked around with the raffle board. CHRISTINA DALY HERALD

Recipients of the Ruth Fins Award Daniel LaManna and Ryan Bockelmann, at right, were joined by Frank Van Zant, left, Jen Pascarella, Rosemarie Cammarata and Alicia LaManna. CHRISTINA DALY HERALD

Since 1991, the Rockville Centre Education Foundation has funded initiatives proposed by the district’s teachers and school administrators to expand educational opportunities, and the annual gala is the primary source of funding for the programs. It gave nearly $70,000 in grants to the school districts each of the last two years.

This year’s gala honoree was Rockville Centre resident Katie Schumacher, who founded the Don’t Press Send Campaign, which provides children and teenagers with strategies as they navigate the ever-changing technological world by promoting kind and careful online communication, in the hope of preventing them from harming themselves or others. Schumacher is also a member of the Drug and Alcohol Task Force and a supporter of the Rockville Centre Youth Council.

Education Foundation Gala honoree Katie Schumacher attended with her husband, Jeff. CHRISTINA DALY HERALD

The Education Foundation also recognized Ruth Fins Award recipients Ryan Bockelmann and Daniel LaManna, technology teachers at South Side Middle School who serve as advisors for the robotics and technology clubs. Starting with a handful of students and initial funding from the Education Foundation, the middle school’s Robotics Club has grown year after year.

About 170 people attended the gala, and more than $50,000 was raised. The exact amount was still being tallied at press time.

South Side High School musicians performed during cocktail hour. CHRISTINA DALY HERALD

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