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Rochester Education Foundation:  Because every child deserves a great education.
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Events We've Held
9th Annual Partnership Awards
8th Annual Partnership Awards
7th Annual Partnership Awards
6th Annual Partnership Awards
5th Annual Partnership Awards
4th Annual Partnership Awards
3rd Annual Partnership Awards
2nd Annual Partnership Awards
1st Annual Partnership Awards
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Eighth Annual Partnership Awards Dinner, 2013

East High graduate and Super Bowl veteran Roland Williams received a hero's welcome at the Rochester Education Foundation Partnership Awards Dinner October 9.

 

Lindsay Davis, Karen Davis, Roland Williams, Katie Scott, and Mary Worboys-Turner
(l to r): Lindsay Davis, REF Board member Karen Davis, REF 2013 Alumni Award honoree Roland Williams, Katie Scott, and Honorary Co-Chair Mary Worboys-Turner.

 

Mr. Williams addressed an audience of 380 people, reflecting on his early years in Rochester and his experience striving to be a champion on and off the field. Mr. Williams talked about the advice offered throughout childhood by his father Dwayne Williams (who was in the audience). He also talked about the positive influences of his teachers, coaches and administrators at East High School, including former principal (and now REF board chair) Ed Cavalier.

Much of his talk was about how to be a champion. He discussed the five components of being a champion: Belief, Courage, Perseverance, Managing Assets and Honesty.

One major component is "belief," he said. "I'm a living testimony." Believing and knowing your goal is critical, he observed. "You have to have the courage to speak your goal and write it down," he said.

 

Honoree Laura Delehanty and student Triston Dunlap
Honoree Laura Delehanty and student Triston Dunlap.

 

Mr. Williams noted that it is important for students to focus on the good traits they possess - not on what they don't have. This focus will support their success in life. Finally, the Syracuse University graduate spoke about the importance of education.

The dinner was the 8th Annual Partnership Awards Dinner for REF. Mr. Williams was one of six honorees.

The evening started with student Geovanna Joseph, who attended School No. 52 and introduced one of the two Educator Award Winners, principal Denise Rainey. Ms. Joseph noted: "Ms. Rainey wants everyone to leave School No. 52 as I did: happy and full of memories that last a lifetime." Ms. Rainey noted the many partners she values as a principal.

 

Eric Robinson, Roland Williams and REF Board chair Ed Cavalier
Eric Robinson, Roland Williams and REF Board chair Ed Cavalier.

 

A Making a Difference Award was presented to Kevin Doran, anchor and managing editor of News 8 and FOX Rochester. Emcee John Kucko, Sports Director at WROC-TV, spoke of his special pleasure in giving his colleague the award. Jeff Bocach, CEO of Platinum Sponsor Advantage Federal Credit Union, praised Mr. Doran for his dedication to students and education. Mr. Doran acknowledged the hard work of teachers and the many dedicated volunteers working to support Rochester students.

A second Educator Award was presented to Laura Delehanty, lead teacher for the Teaching and Learning Institute at East High School for the past 16 years. Student Triston Dunlap praised her, noting that she is "not only an educator but a role model." Ms. Delehanty noted: "I feel fortunate and blessed to be able to do what I do." Noting that she and her husband send their children to city schools she said: "If our schools aren't good enough for my children, they aren't good enough for any children."

 

Eastman Pathways students performing
Eastman Pathways students performing.

 

The energetic tutors at Third Presbyterian Church were presented with the Volunteer Award. The tutors, part of the Teach a Child Program, have been supporting city students for more than a quarter century. Students Arthur Wilson, Jr. and Njaiah Flanders reflected on how the program has supported them, and their affection for their mentors. Volunteers Linda Yost and Cindy Gianniny graciously accepted the award on behalf of the 100 volunteers supporting city students through the program.

A second Making a Difference Award was presented to Dr. John Fetter, assistant professor of music education at the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Fetter was honored for his support of a partnership with School No. 17 through the Urban Strings program. Dr. Fetter discussed how much his Eastman students benefit from working with city students in the program. He also praised the "essential" service of the musical instruments donated by REF to students.

 

Photo album: click here
Click here to see more photos from the event. (All photos courtesy of Philip Lange)

 

About 35 city school students and their parents received scholarships to attend the dinner free of charge thanks to donations from REF supporters.

The Partnership Awards Dinner supports the programs of Rochester Education Foundation.

The Honorary Chairs of the dinner were Mary Worboys-Turner and Scott Turner, and Louise Woerner and Don Kollmorgen.

Educator Eric Robinson assisted John Kucko with emcee duties.

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