On Friday, November 23rd at 6pm, the Warrior for Life Foundation will host its 2nd Annual Scholarship Gala at the Imperia in Somerset.

The gala, which serves as the Foundation’s biggest fundraising event of the year, is considered by founders to be “the most unique experience to impact the lives of Franklin Township students”.

“The Warrior For Life Scholarship Gala is held to celebrate the excellent students in Franklin Township, to have a fun and exciting event to bring our amazing community together, to highlight and emphasize the importance of education to our students, and to honor the unparalleled legacy of many pillars of Franklin Township,” said Daryn Plummer, co-founder of the foundation and Dean of 12th Grade students at Franklin High School.

Sign Up for E-News

At last year’s sold out gala, $10,000 in scholarship funds were distributed to 9 Franklin seniors and college freshman. This year, the bar has been raised.

“Our fundraising goal for this year was to be able to award more than $10,000 in scholarships and impact more than 9 students,” Plummer said. “We are excited to announce, through the generous support of many partners throughout the community and around the country, that we are able to award 11 students a total of $11,000.”

The following students will be awarded flagship and book scholarships at the gala:

Flagship Scholarships

Malcolm & Barbara Bernard Historically Black College/University Scholarship: Kamari Kelton

William Westfield Legacy Scholarship: Jeriah McCray

Myra Mitchell Financial Need/Personal Tragedy Scholarship: Kimani Thomas

Carl & Theresa Wade Academic Excellence Scholarship: Jada Bethea

Book Scholarships

Len Rivers Scholarship: Jahnavi Bavuluri

Sheryl Rosner Scholarship(s): Sneh Patel & Tiana Jackson

Dennis Harris Scholarship: Matthew Xi

Alexander Brian Tatum Scholarship: Omar Khasawneh & Asante Harris

Franklin Township Supervisor and Administrators Association Scholarship: Kishan Patel

Alongside the student scholarship award winners, Bill Grippo and Nancy LaCorte will both be honored with the 2018 “Warrior For Life” Award for their service, leadership, and dedication to the Franklin community. This year’s Legacy Scholarship Honoree, Former Superintendent William Westfield, will also be honored at the event for his lifelong commitment to the betterment of Franklin Township's public schools.

The night will be lead by mistress of ceremonies Erin Jackson, a stand-up comedian and Franklin alumni who has been featured on “CONAN”, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, and more. The Renaissance Jazz Band will also perform live jazz and R&B music for attendees to enjoy.

In addition to the food, dancing, and entertainment, attendees will be able to participate in a silent-auction for items such as signed and authenticated NFL memorabilia and a jewelry basket from Naturally Franny, a locally owned business.

According to event organizers, over half of the 240 available tickets have already been sold, and the remaining seats are going fast. 

“We sold out last year and are looking to do the same in 2018,” Plummer said. “Last year, we sold over 100 tickets in the last two weeks approaching the gala, so anyone who plans on attending should get their tickets right away to make sure they have a spot secured at the greatest night in giving during the holiday season.”

Tickets can be purchased by heading to www.warriorforlife.org/events, the proceeds of which go directly back into supporting the scholarship fund thorough the next year. Or, if you’re unable to attend, there are a number of other ways to support the Warrior For Life Scholarship Foundation listed on the Foundation’s website.