Ruth Lynch, Frank Mandley, Robyn Hankerson. Photo credit: Downtown PhotoRuth Lynch, Frank Mandley, Robyn Hankerson. Photo credit: Downtown Photo

Community leaders Memorial Healthcare System and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. were honored for their impact on public education and student achievement in Broward County at the recent Broward Education Foundation Black & White Gala that celebrated 34 years of educational excellence.

Guests enjoyed mingling together during the cocktail reception where they were bidding on such fabulous silent auction items as weekend getaways, gift baskets, sports memorabilia, tickets to sporting events, plays and performances and more. Following the reception, NBC 6 news reporters and sisters Julia and Marissa Bagg, who were co-Masters of Ceremonies, welcomed guests into the elegantly decorated ballroom for an evening of dinner, dancing to the music of the band None Other and recognitions of the honorees and students.

The highlight of the celebratory evening was recognition of extraordinary student achievements, particularly those students who overcame incredible adversity. A scholarship was presented by Memorial Healthcare System to Abigail Michel, who will graduate from Fort Lauderdale High School and attend FIU, and a scholarship was presented by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. to Lakira Sylvain, who will graduate from Blanche Ely High School and will attend Florida A&M University.

“We were all inspired by the stories that were told this evening of students in our school system who have succeeded against all odds,” said Christina Fischer, Broward Education Foundation board chair. “This event, and all that we do at the Broward Education Foundation, is about helping our students succeed academically and personally. Broward Education Foundation, a direct support not-for-profit organization, provides the much needed funding for programs and initiatives touching the lives of over 300,000 students of the district. We are raising funds and awareness. As an example, we don’t want families to have to choose between buying school supplies and putting food on the dinner table. Unfortunately, that is a reality for some families.”

Each year, the Foundation contributes more than $2.2 million to Broward County schools, serving as the catalyst for educational excellence. “I congratulate our honorees who both have provided unwavering support for Broward Education Foundation and Broward County Public Schools and share our commitment to serving and improving the nation’s sixth largest school district,” said Broward Education Foundation Executive Director Shea Ciriago. “The Gala would also not have been possible without the extraordinary generosity of our sponsors.”

Sponsors were Anthony Brunson P.A., Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Avaya, BrightStar Credit Union, Broward Health, Broward Teachers Union, Charter Schools of Excellence, Dell, D. Stephenson Construction Co., Heery International, Inc., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, JDL Technologies, Johns Eastern Co, Inc., Kelley Kronenberg, Lenovo, Lipton Toyota, Memorial Health Care Systems, OneBlood, Inc., Pirtle Construction Company, The Corradino Group, The Fischer Group, University of Phoenix, Video Dynamics Corp. and Wells Fargo.

As an additional fundraiser, Lipton Toyota generously donated a three-year lease on a 2017 Camry SE that was awarded that evening. Donations were made leading up to the Gala for a chance at the car and a $1,000 cash prize.  

Honorary chairs of the Black & White Gala, presented by BrightStar Credit Union, were Broward County Public Schools Chair Abby M. Freedman and Superintendent Robert Runcie. Event co-chairs were Ned MacPherson of MPR Equities, LLC and Robyn Hankerson of Johnson & Wales University.

For more information, call 754-321-2030, visit www.browardedfoundation.org, like our Facebook page at facebook.com/browardeducationfoundation or follow us on Twitter @BrowardEdFound.

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