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"Celebration of Giving" Gala

By Damaris Castillo, Editor-in-Chief & Martha Nestor, Managing Editor --

On the evening of October 6, faculty, students, and sponsors of PCCC gathered at the Wanaque campus for the Celebration of Giving, a fundraising event to gather funds for the foundation of PCCC- as well as honoring the individuals who were the greatest contributors to it.

Attendees of this event were welcomed with not only food and drinks, but also a research presentation done by students on climate change.

Student members of Urban Scholars for Climate Change spent their summer researching different aspects of climate change such as air quality, carbon footprints, and water quality.

Each team of students had their own table where they were able to present their project to those who attended the event. Arianne Bakelmun, member of the documentation team, describes the process.

“All of it [projects] is regarding climate change- specifically climate change as it affects our local community. So, for example, two of the groups were concerned with local rivers. The Passaic River was tested to see if it could sustain and support life. One of the teams not only tested river water but made her own code to organize the data that she collected to show the quality of the water. Another student tested how indoor air quality is affected once plans are introduced to the environment. Another team tested the quality of bottled drinking water, another team tested car exhaust, and one team did a carbon footprint calculator. He developed this calculator you could put in your information about your consumption habits, and it will tell you about your carbon footprint and how you are affecting how much carbon is released into the environment from the things that you're purchasing, the amount that you're driving, and the food that you're eating.”

Many of the PCCC staff emphasized the importance of the project- and how monumental it was for the students to conduct it.

President Steven Rose declared, “It’s wonderful! I know how great our students are but some people are here who've never met our students. They go “I can't believe your students; they're so smart!” so, you know I like showing off our students.”

Professor Petar Drakulich emphasized, “Its incredible to see the work students do outside of the classroom. The sky is the limit for them and I am so proud to see what they are able to do.”

Debb Hoffman, Chair of PCCC Foundation Board of Trustees also noted, “The research was fascinating and technical- but I thought it was very impressive.”

Towards the end of the night- attendees gathered in the Black Box Theater to commemorate the sponsors who were able to put into motion the scholarship fund.

Those in commemoration were Jane E. Allerman-Rey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Spencer Savings Bank- as well as Anthony J. De Nova III, County Administrator for Passaic County.

President Steven Rose spoke remarkably of the individuals- noting that their relationship with PCCC was extremely important.

“We are honoring the President from Spencer Savings Bank- who has been a wonderful partner for 20 years in providing money for scholarships for students as a loyal supporter of the college.”

Michael Glovin, who is a part of the Board of Trustees, emphasized that “She has been very forthright in raising money for this college.”

A representative of Spencer Savings, on behalf of Jane Allermen-Rey, accepted the award in Outstanding Leadership.

Georgia Turney, who on behalf of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill's office, also presented a certificate to Jane Allerman-Rey, honored by the PCCC foundation..

President Rose also recognized that the County Administrator, Anthony J. De Nova, would be retiring after a career of almost 20 years who he said from day one, “understood the importance of this college to the community.”

Debb Hoffman also emphasized that “It has been very meaningful for us to work with you for so many years.”

Many individuals throughout the night emphasized the good he put into the community.

Michael Glovin stated, “During his tenure, Mr. De Nova raised the amount being put into the county contribution- every year.”

In his honor, there will be a creation of the Anthony J. De Nova III Scholarship which will be given in perpetuity to a student each year, who wants to go into public service.

The event was able to gather an estimated amount of 60,000 dollars.

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