Lakeland Education Foundation Raises Thousands at Casino Night

The dance floor is hopping. Credits: Deena Bell
Mary Ellen Herzog, assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services, shows off her prize: a colorful beach towel. Now, where is the sun and warmth? Credits: Deena Bell
Karen and Ed Muendell sell 50/50 raffle tickets. Credits: Deena Bell
Town and school leaders with executive director of Alliance for Safe Kids, Liz Talbert, honorees Brian Smith and Ed Becker, and Alliance president Tricy Cushner. Credits: Deena Bell
Tony DiPaterio hopes to win this rustic wooden bench. Credits: Deena Bell
Volunteers man the raffle table. Credits: Deena Bell
Credits: Deena Bell

SHRUB OAK, N.Y.-The Lakeland Education Foundation honored two teachers and a group of community partners at its annual Casino Night, Silent Auction and Dinner Dance, at the Villa Barone in Mahopac on Saturday, March 10.

Last year, the foundation, founded in 1994, topped $1 million raised to benefit the district’s students.

This year’s community honoree was the Alliance for Safe Kids, which was founded in 2002 by members of the Yorktown Heights community. Alliance for Safe Kids is a coalition representing all sectors of the community working together to provide a safety net for youth and their families.

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“The Alliance for Safe Kids is thrilled to be selected as a 2018 Lakeland Education Foundation honoree,” the organization said in a press release. “Both the Lakeland Education Foundation and the Lakeland Central School District continue to be integral components of Alliance for Safe Kids programming. The district graciously hosts the annual Save-a-Life event and Youth Mental Health First Aid Course, reaching hundreds of local high school students, their families and supportive community members.”

Brian Smith and Ed Becker, technology teachers at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, were also honored.

“We are humbled to be honored by the Lakeland Education Foundation,” the teachers said in a press release. “They are the most supportive, appreciative group of parents ever. ‘What can we do to support YOU?’ is always the first question on their collective minds. Thank you for this honor.”

The all-volunteer Lakeland Education Foundation supports district schools by raising funds for specific student and teacher-initiated projects that enrich the educational experience and are not funded by the district’s budget.

“The Lakeland Education Foundation has been working hard for the past 23 years to enhance the educational experience for all Lakeland students,” said Diane Kness, president of the Lakeland Education Foundation.

The money raised at the Casino Night will go toward the foundation’s grant program.

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