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PENCIL's 2011 Annual Spring Gala: Imagine What We Can Do
04/13/2011 - By New York, NY

PENCIL's 2011 Annual Spring Gala: Imagine What We Can Do

PENCIL, the leading education nonprofit facilitating relationships between business leaders and public schools, held its 2011 Annual Spring Gala: Imagine What We Can Do, on Wednesday, April 13 at Cipriani Wall Street.

With more than 800 guests in attendance, the sold-out event raised nearly $1.8 million to support public schools.

PENCIL’s 2011 Gala honored the following individuals and companies for their contributions to New York City public schools:
• Charles Bendit, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Taconic Investment Partners, LLC, Member of The New York State Board of Regents, and PENCIL Board Member;
Paul Neuman, President, Neuman’s;
Sana Q. Nasser, Principal, Harry S Truman High School. (PENCIL Partnership Award)
• EMC Corporation, Accepted by Joseph M. Tucci, Chairman, President and CEO. (PENCIL Corporate Partner Award)
• Matthew Higgins, Executive Vice President of Business Operations, New York Jets (New York City Public School Alumni Award)

The cocktail hour and dinner program featured students from Partner schools around the City whose lives have been touched by PENCIL Partnerships. Throughout the evening, guests were treated to artwork created by student artists from IS 24 and The Essence School. During cocktail hour, student journalists from PS 123 and student newscasters from PS 71 reported on the evening and conducted interviews from the red carpet, while students from Harry S Truman High School’s culinary arts program prepared and served sushi to guests.

The dinner program was emceed by Boubacar, an eighth-grade student from PS 123, and featured original musical performances by students from East Side Community High School, an onstage cooking demonstration and presentation by Truman’s culinary arts students, and an original sketch performed by students from Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation. Finally, The Story Pirates performed a short play adapted from a story written by a third-grade student from Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars.

A JetBlue fundraising initiative contributed to the record-breaking night for PENCIL. Through the initiative, JetBlue auctioned off 50 pairs of round-trip tickets to anywhere that JetBlue flies. JetBlue Airways President and CEO Dave Barger, a longtime PENCIL supporter and Board Member, was there himself to announce the winners of the auction onstage.

“This is truly a great night for PENCIL,” said Michael Haberman, PENCIL President. “It’s more than a fundraiser to us. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the work of our supporters, see the impact of PENCIL programs on students and schools around the City, and recognize some outstanding individuals and companies that have shown we can transform our schools together.”

Photos: Jeffrey Holmes

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