The Rockville Centre Education Foundation held its annual gala at the Hempstead Golf and Country Club on April 1 as school and community leaders gathered to celebrate the district and honor the community members who have made a difference in the village.
The gala is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Education Foundation. All of the money raised during the year is given back to the school district in the form of grants that help fund programs, including visits from authors and new programs and technology.
This year, the foundation honored The Rockville Centre Youth Council for raising awareness to underage drinking and drug use in the community, and South Side High School physical education teacher Meaghan Healey with the Ruth Fins Award.
The Rockville Centre Youth Council is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization which educates students and their parents on the dangers of underage drinking and illegal drug use. Established in 2009, this grassroots effort has grown in size and stature as it strives to provide teens with a safe and nurturing hometown.
The council is led by Rockville Centre students under the guidance of board of director members Beth Hammerman, Andrea Connolly, Lana Glass, Jeff DiLuccio, Elizabeth Boylan, Michael Caffrey, Jeanne Mulry and Lori Drucker. The organization sponsors substance-free social events, community outreach programs, and prevention events.
Healey has been a physical education teacher in the Rockville Centre school district since 1995. She coaches the girls’ varsity lacrosse team and is an integral contributor to the high school’s annual Red and Blue Games.
Proceeds from the galas provide the revenue for the grants that the foundation funds each year. This year, the foundation’s featured grant was a zSpace virtual-reality technology tool that was introduced at South Side High School in September. The tool provides students with the opportunity to engage in inquiry, take risks, and solve problems in the area of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics).