HCC Gala raises more than $53,000 for scholarships

On Saturday, April 21, the Housatonic Community College Foundation held its 9th annual Gala. More than 250 guests gathered together to raise more than $53,500 to support student scholarships, advising and academic programs. The Gala, which is the Foundation’s signature fundraising event, was held in connection with the 50th anniversary of the College.

Held in the new Lafayette Atrium on campus, guests were treated to a cocktail party, with food provided by Garelick & Herbs, music by HCC All Stars and special student performances by HCC Music Club. Attendees also enjoyed tastings presented by Asylum Distillery and sponsor, Brewport.

The event celebrated philanthropic and academic excellence, highlighting the crucial role the College plays in the community and economic future. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) presented the evening’s honorees with certificates of special recognition, and Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim and Shelton Mayor Mark A. Lauretti were in attendance.

In his welcome address, HCC President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. said, “We’re in the business of changing lives, making dreams a reality, closing equity gaps, creating generational change, making stronger communities and having an economic impact on society. Our students excel, but they face economic barriers. Through philanthropic support, our Foundation has provided $650,000 in scholarships per year to students, allowing students, the community and society to succeed.”

Christopher McCormack, Esq., board president of the Foundation, was presented with an award for his service by Dr. Broadie. McCormack joined the board of directors in 2010 and has held the position of President since 2013.

The Allison Family Foundation was honored with the Friend of the College Award for its funding of scholarships and stipends since 2012. The Allison Foundation recently made a generous commitment to fund scholarships for the Family Economic Security Program, and a counselor for the Men’s Center.

Robert D. Scinto received the Community Service Award for his contributions to the region and support of the College. Scinto recently created the R.D. Scinto Scholars Award, which bestows 20 awards to graduates with top GPAs to underscore the direct relationship between studies and earnings.

The Hon. Judge Eddie Rodriguez Jr., Connecticut’s most senior Superior Court judge, was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award. At HCC Judge Rodriguez discovered his passion for law and graduated from the College in 1970.

A Young Alumni Award was presented to Dr. Yusuff Abdu for his contributions in making scientific history. Originally from Nigeria, Dr. Abdu graduated from HCC in 2006 and went on to discover a previously uncharacterized form of cell remodeling while pursuing his Ph.D. from NYU School of Medicine.

Each year, the gala is a major source of annual funding for the Foundation, which provides financial assistance to the College and its students. It generates support for Housatonic student scholarships, student emergency assistance, child care assistance for parents enrolled at Housatonic, program enhancements and the Housatonic Museum of Art.

“The outpouring of support for this remarkable event shows the special place that HCC has in Fairfield County, and the recognition of the opportunities it presents to transform students’ lives on their path to greatness,” said Fiona Hodgson, executive director of the Housatonic Community College Foundation. “We are tremendously grateful to all our sponsors, donors and attendees.”