By Miriam G. Mazliach
Who is a hero? Well, in the eyes of public and private schools in the Hayward Unified District, they are individuals who have extended themselves above and beyond the norm through generous volunteer efforts appreciated and recognized by his or her school. This select group will be honored Friday, March 23 as part of the Hayward Education Foundation Gala "Night of Heroes," at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB).
The gala evening also has another essential purpose - raising necessary funds for the Teacher Grant Program. Designated funds, from monies raised, are allocated to submitted teacher grant proposals for innovative classroom projects.
"Last year, the Hayward Education Foundation was able to fund over 74 percent of the grant requests we received and that felt good," says President of the Hayward Education Foundation, Dianne McDermott. "We were able to bridge a gap with some of the funding losses from the State of California. We would like to do more, and we can with the support of all the components in our community," she adds.
McDermott explains, "This year's [gala] theme is 'Count Me In' to depict that the job of educating the students in our community is not the single responsibility of the schools; it's a combined effort. If you're a business, you want to be able to hire from within the community but you have to have a pool of qualified people."
For event-goers, a variety of activities will add to the excitement and ambience of the memorable celebration. Kickoff for the gala begins with no-host cocktails and as part of a Silent Auction, student artwork from Mt. Eden High School and Moreau Catholic High School, will be up for bid.
Other Silent and Live Auction items include: a three-nights stay in Arizona, monthly flower bouquets, a luxury suite to a 2012 Oakland A's game, a case of great wines, Mendocino family getaway, two nights stay at Lake Tahoe, and much more. Be prepared to bid on these fantastic items!
And, if that is not enough to whet your appetite, raffle tickets can be purchased with a chance to win some equally amazing prizes. The "Count Me In" Grand Prize ($50/raffle ticket) is a Home Entertainment Center donated by Video Only-Hayward. Valued at $1,700 the package consists of a 55-inch Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi TV, a Boston Acoustics Sound Bar and a 48-inch black metal stand.
Among other raffle levels, a $20 raffle ticket includes a chance to win an iPad2 and one of the $10 raffle tickets could win the prize of a Kindle Fire. The best part is that even if you cannot attend the event, raffle tickets can still be purchased by filling out the form at the Foundation website. Visit www.HaywardEd.org to download the Raffle Ticket Order Form and mail with a check to: Hayward Education Foundation, P.O. Box 56444, Hayward, CA 94545.
After the cocktail hour, a sumptuous dinner will be served, beginning at 6 p.m. Emmy award-winning news reporter John M. Kessler returns as Master of Ceremonies, to keep everything running smoothly. The program features Diane Urban, Hayward's first female Police Chief, as the keynote speaker.
Throughout the evening, musical entertainment will be provided by Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, Moreau Catholic High School Jazz Band and Hayward High School P.R.I.D.E. Marching Band.
Hayward Hero Award recipients will be 'officially' announced at the gala, and a PowerPoint slideshow presentation will highlight the awardees. Here's a 'sneak peek' of the honorees, listed by school:
Janet Wallace, Bowman Elementary; Alex Padilla, Burbank Elementary; Rev. Dr. Arlene K. Nehring, Cherryland Elementary; Jessica Medina, East Avenue Elementary; Nancy (Nonnie) Moore, Eden Gardens Elementary; Carla Archuleta, Eldridge Elementary; Mary Granados, Fairview Elementary; The Kids' Breakfast Club, Glassbrook Elementary; Cynthia Ortiz, Harder Elementary; Jarrold Esteves, Palma Ceia Elementary; Rosa Rivera, Park Elementary; Jan Carlson, Faith Ringgold Elementary; Dr. Garry Galvan, Ruus Elementary; Martha Zepeda, Schafer Park Elementary; Risa Kamimura, Southgate Elementary; Gina Torres, Stonebrae Elementary; Arquilla Conner, Strobridge Elementary; Daina Reis, Treeview/Bidwell Elementary; Rosa Escobedo, Tyrrell Elementary; Kathy Vigil, Bret Harte Middle School; Arvanderlyn Campbell, Cesar Chavez Middle School; RaFael Cardenas-Velazquez, M.L. King Jr. Middle School; Bonnie Lewis, Ochoa Middle School; Sonja Murch, Winton Middle School; Celeste and Robert Hales, Hayward High School; Navpreet Khabra, Tennyson High School; Troy McCullock, Impact Academy High School; Jerry Sheets, Moreau Catholic High School; Ana Solomon, Hayward Adult School.
As not all honorees are able to be present at the gala, HEF will hold a "Hero Dinner" on April 26 at the Golden Peacock Restaurant in Hayward. "Heroes" will receive plaques from HEF and certificates of appreciation from Assemblymember Mary Hayashi's Office.
An event of this magnitude requires many dedicated volunteers as well as partners from the business sector. In particular, the Hayward Education Foundation would like to thank major contributors: Wells Fargo Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Fremont Bank, R. Zaballos & Sons, Inc. and the Office of the President at Cal State East Bay as the Facility Sponsor. Additionally, Table Sponsors include Hayward Education Association, Chabot College, Hayward Firefighters, DeVry University, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.
Support Hayward students, education and the community while having a lot of fun. Attend 'A Night of Heroes' and count yourself in!
Hayward Education Foundation Gala
Friday, Mar 23
5 p.m. - Cocktail Hour
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Dinner and Program
Student Union at Cal State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward
Tickets: $95 per person/$760 per table of eight