Updated: May 7, 2019
2019 GALA - Everything from the decor to the people were elegant. Jazz music was played in the background by PCCC Professor Alan Mitnick and his band. Many huddled together over the objects on display on the bidding table. While others payed more attention to the food that was being served.
On Thursday, April 25th, the Foundation held its Annual Scholarship Gala from 6:30-8:30 at the Wanaque Academic Center to help raise money for scholarships for students celebrating the colleges 50th anniversary. Teachers, students, and supporters attended the gala to help support the event.
“I’m just here to be part of the overall meaning of what this stands for and that’s to provide an opportunity to deserving students to be able to further their educations; it's a wonderful thing to be able be a part of helping students by providing educational opportunities—a financial opportunity,” said Ronald VanRensalier, which his foundation, The Underground Railroad, has an annual scholarship fundraiser to help schools like PCCC.
President Steven Rose, of PCCC, was very pleased of the turnout of supporters of the event. “It looks great! It looks like we are going to raise a lot of scholarships at this event,” said President Rose. President Rose was extremely grateful for everyone who came and helped out with the gala.
“The whole purpose is to raise money for scholarships for students— that’s why we do this and it’s very successful, all these people who are here tonight are friends of the college and they come out because they want to see our students be successful—it’s a wonderful thing!” said President Rose.
There were many speakers at the event including, President Rose, Professor Jennifer Gasparino, and student Valerie Altouma.
Throughout the ceremony, President Rose and Prof. Gasperino, gave out awards, honoring students, foundations and supporters in the event, especially Columbia Bank, who sent a check for $25,000 dollars.
The gala has been held in the Hamilton Club for the last 15 years and this year, is the first time, it’s being held in the Wanaque Campus.
Food that was served in the event was provided by the culinary students and faculty in the Wanaque Campus—serving treats like homemade ice cream and small pastries like cream puffs to guests.
Award recipients included Hector C. Lora, Mayor of the City of Passaic, and PCCC graduate who received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Mr. Thomas Kemly, President and CEO of Columbia Bank, and the Columbia Bank Foundation—proud community partners also received the Outstanding Leadership Award.