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The welcoming faces of the PWEF board and advisor members (front, left to right) Amy Levinson, Karen Sloan, Jean-Marie Posner, Amy Bass-PWEF president, Kay Ullman, Beth Eule, Margaret DeSiervo, Dr. Roy Nelson; (rear, left-right) Karen Reichenbach, Bob Kleinman, Robin Sigman, Laura Mogul, Claudia Rouhana, Matt Melkonian, Renee Laffer, Cathy Seldin.

A festive array of sumptuous desserts was offered to the guests at the Port Washington Education Foundation (PWEF)'s annual gala at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. More than 250 people, including elected and appointed officials, members of the board of education, community leaders, and PWEF board and committee members, attended the third PWEF's fund raiser. A good time was had by all, while raising over $50,000 for the foundation's many worthwhile educational projects.

The PWEF, under the capable leadership of founder and President Amy Bass, is dedicated to enhancing education opportunities in Port Washington by supporting initiatives that are beyond the scope of the school district's budget. According to Bass, in its three years of existence, the PWEF has given 50 grants totaling almost $60,000 for a wide variety of projects. Among the 2004-5 projects were a Xeriscape and sculpture garden courtyard at Schreiber, digital photography programs; learning about and playing the blues; yoga lessons; and various reading, writing and cooking projects. During the formal program, Bass said, "I am thrilled to have so many people attend this event, and I am thrilled at what we have accomplished together. We are a community group coming together to support the Port Washington schools." She reminded the guests that the foundation is 100 percent volunteer. In a later communication, Bass said, "I was especially happy with the range of guests who attended, from young parents to grandparents, all sharing a commitment to excellence and innovation in education in Port. And, of course, we were honored that so many officials managed to come, and stay to join in the fun."

PWEF President Amy Bass is honored to be among Daly Principal Elaine Ajello, Salem Principal Chris Shields, Dr. Roy Nelson, former Superintendent Dr. Albert Enserra, and Legislator Craig Johnson (Manorhaven Principal Dr. Linda Welles was busy getting her dessert.)

Among the distinguished guests were North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, County Legislator Craig Johnson, Town Council Members Fred Pollack and Wayne Wink, Sands Point Mayor Leonard Wurzel, and former Port Washington Superintendent of Schools Dr. Albert Inserra, who is enjoying his retirement and serving as an associate professor at Dowling College. Each of these assisted the auctioneer in auctioning such items as Jet Blue airline tickets, a weekend at Shinnecock Hills with Owen Costello, Metropolitan Opera tickets, a 30-minute drive in a 1970 Ferrari, and a weekend winter getaway at Lake Lucerne. Jon Kaiman said, "This is an extraordinary event and an extraordinary organization." Pollack commented, "It's amazing what they have accomplished in just three years."

In addition to the live auction, there was a silent auction, which included such items as jewelry, wine, quilting classes, college counseling, interior design consultation, yoga, spa services, toys and games, baby clothes, kayak lessons, tickets to sports events, and may other hard-to-resist products and services. Bass thanked all of the local business and services for their generosity in donating these items, as well as their advertising in the journal. The journal contained over 150 ads and raised over $20,000. The benefit committee was chaired by Karen Reichenbach, Karen Sloane (event chairs) and Katharine Ullman (journal chair).

The celebration was enhanced by the lovely music of the Schreiber Chamber Orchestra under the leadership of Tony Pinelli.

After a night of fun and overindulgence, the guests were sent home with a small box of fudge generously donated by Mr. and Mrs. Mark Wurzel.

For more information about the Port Washington Education Foundation, visit their website at www.pwef.org.


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