The Horace Greeley High School gym was packed on November 4th for the 10th Annual Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund Spelling Bee. Spirits were high as students, teachers & administrators, families, and community members came together to share in this special event which was enjoyed by participants and spectators alike. More than 60 teams competed this year, not only to be the top spellers, but as contenders for best costume as well. Ultimately, student team All the Buzz beat out the steep competition with the word EUONYMUS and claimed the 2019 championship title. Organized by Horace Greeley High School’s SHARE (Students Have a Responsibility Everywhere) community service group, more than $20,000 was raised to benefit the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund which exists to make up “the difference” between the actual costs of college and all other financial resources available to students and their families. In the last 72 years, hundreds of Greeley students have been awarded need-based grants from the Fund helping to make college a reality for all Greeley graduates.
The Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund (HGSF) raised a record $186,000 during a March gala at the Mount Kisco Country Club.
PHOTOS BY HANNAH ROSENBERG
HGSF Gala co-chairs Rachel Rader and Cathy Hildenbrand attributed the sum to generous sponsors, donors and to the lively auction. “This year has also brought an increased number of applicants,” they added, “so we still have work to do to meet our needs.”
Brian O’Connor, a 5th grade teacher for the last 12 years at Seven Bridges, received the Ed Habermann Award. The HGSF lauded his interweaving of ‘CNN Heroes’ into his curriculum. His students have studied, connected with (sending out over 4,000 letters to dozens of heroes on five continents), and learned from these inspiring role models during dozens of Skype conversations and several Hero visits to Seven Bridges. Brian’s program was recognized and featured on the 10th Annual CNN Heroes Tribute live television broadcast in December 2016.
O’Connor’s dad, Jim, introduced his son, as “always a great leader, who led by example.” O’Connor, for his part, quipped, “I try not to screw them up in the ten months that I have them.” He described his goal of always working toward helping kids find their passion, “and see how they can use it to help other people.” O’Connor also enjoys time with his wife, Tara, and their three children–Alix, Jenna, and James. He loves coaching youth soccer, basketball, and baseball in their hometown of Montgomery, New York.
Ellen Miller, a passionate advocate of childhood nutrition, received the HGSF “Award of Distinction.” At Grafflin, Ellen chaired the Grapevine newsletter, Griffin magazine and the Health & Safety Committee. As part of a joint elementary school committee, she was a key architect of Grafflin’s “Eat a Rainbow” program which helped students select balanced lunches.
She chaired Nutrition Committees at Grafflin, Bell, and Greeley. In 2006, Ellen joined the Superintendent’s Wellness Advisory Committee, helping to create the district’s wellness policy and food guidelines. She spearheaded the initiative to have recess before lunch, helped refine food service offerings and pricing, enhanced the district’s “farm to table” focus and established healthier food and beverage choices. Ellenalso joined the Chappaqua School Foundation board in 2006. She worked on the Grants Committee for the majority of her nine-year tenure.
Ellen Miller’s two sons Harris and Trevor poked fun at their mom’s limits on both junk food and her allowance of twice a week red meat dinners. They said they admired her for ‘burning the candle on both ends” as she worked toward a Master’s degree in Food Studies at NYU.
Miller said she encourages kids to “dream big… and change the world.” She said she supports HGSF goals “because it’s heartbreaking when a child’s dream can’t be realized. “ “A child’s dream can be broken in the blink of an eye… Thanks for helping me make their dreams a reality.” — Grace Bennett
By Grace Bennett
At a late March annual fundraiser for the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund (HGSF): In a packed Mount Kisco Country Club ballroom, an outpouring of affection and appreciation was extended toward honorees John Re, recipient of the Horace Greeley Ed Habermann Award, and to Pat Pollack, recipient of the Horace Greeley Award of Distinction.
Notably, each honoree spoke of values HGSF extolls: that of the importance of community involvement and how to let our kids know we believe in them and in their dreams and aspirations of who they can become.
In her remarks, Pat Pollack quoted Brooke Hampton: “Speak to children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical beings on earth for what they believe is what they become,” recited Pollack, a long time nurse in the Chappaqua school district, and founder of New Castle Cares. A video montage, featuring fond reminisces from grateful students, family, neighbors & colleagues, preceded Pollack’s remarks.
For John Re, a long time and award-winning AYSO soccer coach, and founder of the town’s beloved Dawn’s Ray of Hope, Inc., living in a community is all about getting involved. “For me, I thought it obligates you–to be involved,” he stated. “You don’t get to complain about the way things are or the way things are being run unless you are willing to do the work, to put yourself out there, to put in the effort, in order to make a difference.”
According to Alan Nadel, President of the HGSF, the Fund started informally in 1946 when the senior class raised $300 to help students pay for college. Annual fundraisers followed. Over the past 10 years, the HGSF has awarded grants totaling $1,786,000 to 287 Greeley Alums.
“The board works hard each year raising money which, after expenses, is all awarded in grants,” he said. Last year the HGSF awarded $223,000 to 29 Greeley alumni.
The demonstrated need for these 29 grant recipients was over $450,000. “We weren’t even able to cover half. Every year the HGSF works hard to bridge this gap,” said Nadel. “There is clearly need here in Chappaqua, despite the fact that it is an ‘affluent community.’ Need arises for many unexpected reasons including family illness, divorce and death. College is expensive!”
To learn more and/or contribute, visit www.hgsf.org.
A hidden treasure will be revealed this Sunday at a benefit for the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund. An exquisite art collection – located right in the neighborhood – will be open to the community for two viewings at 3 and 4:30.
The works on display are from the private collection of the Louis-Dreyfus family. The doyen of these gems, William Louis-Dreyfus, traces his interest in art to his sojourn in France as a young adolescent. “I used to skip school to go to the museums and the Louvre,” he confessed. Today, he pursues his passion at galleries and in artists’ studios.
There are many works by masters including Matisse, Kandinsky and Miro, but these are not the names cited by Louis-Dreyfus when asked to describe the pieces which speak to him. The work he is “most emotionally tied to” is “The Departure of Fruit and Vegetables from the Heart of Paris” by Raymond Mason. This sculpture depicts vendors, laden with their wares, in a truly vivid palette.
Louis-Dreyfus does not focus solely on maintaining and growing his collection. He is also committed to using it purposefully; mainly for the benefit of underprivileged youth served by the Harlem Children’s Zone. When several of his friends prevailed upon him to open his gallery for a benefit for the HGSF, he was happy to accommodate.
HGSF president David Perlmutter has seen the works and is thrilled that members of the community will have the opportunity to visit this gallery. “The breadth of the collection is spectacular,” he noted. He found the work of Bill Traylor, an outsider artist, particularly captivating.
A slideshow and tickets are available at hgsf.org/art.
Each year the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund bestows the Ed Habermann award on an outstanding individual in the community. This year’s recipient, Lyndall Boal, was chosen for her dedication to improving the lives of young people, following the principles of the consummate volunteer, Ed Habermann. Boal is the social worker for both Bell and Seven Bridges middle schools.
The room at the Kittle House was full of good cheer on the evening of March 15 as Boal was feted during the HGSF’s annual fundraiser. Accolades from colleagues and students flowed continuously throughout the night.
Assemblyman Bob Castelli came to honor Boal and presented her with a citation in recognition of her many contributions. A proclamation from the Westchester County Board of Legislators, designating March 16 Lyndall Boal Day, was read by HGSF President David Perlmutter. The cry, “Everyday is Lyndall Boal day,” rose from the crowd.
Michael Abemayor, a graduate of the class of 2009 at Greeley highlighted Boal’s attitude toward her position. “It wasn’t just a job to you, it was family,” he observed. He then went on to relate a humorous anecdote. “Remember the time I put the phone in the ceiling?” Abemayor appreciated the fact that even when questions were posed at the time as to the nature and perpetrator of the prank, Boal remained mum. This sentiment expressed precisely the strength of the alliance forged by Boal with young adults in the community.
Perlmutter discussed the role the HGSF plays in Chappaqua. “We’re not a homogenous wealthy community. Many can’t afford tuition,” he said. The fund provided scholarships for 29 students last year. Perlmutter extolled Boal’s praises and expressed the hope that the award would inspire “other teachers to reach out to the kids in a way that’s meaningful.”
A full feature length article on Lyndall Boal will appear in the Mother’s Day print edition of the magazine.