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February 3, 2004 > Morris Hyman and Fremont Bank to be honored by Fremont Education Foundation at their Second Annual Education Gala Grant Night

Morris Hyman and Fremont Bank to be honored by Fremont Education Foundation at their Second Annual Education Gala Grant Night

by Praveena Raman

Morris Hyman, the first president of Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) and Fremont Bank will be honored at FEF's second annual education gala "Grant Night" on Friday February 20th, 2004.

Mr. Hyman is a renowned community member and resident of Fremont. He moved to the Bay Area with his family from Louisiana in 1945 and settled in the Niles Township (before the City of Fremont was formed) in the early fifties. He obtained his bachelor's and law degree from Stanford University in a short time of four years. As an attorney Mr. Hyman won a landmark case for the Alameda County Water District (ACWD) in the Supreme Court, by which ACWD obtained the right to control the level of underground water (TCV 1/6/2004). In 1964, with others, he founded Fremont Bank and became its president in 1970.

The Hyman family has always been active in the Fremont community and, with Fremont Bank, has supported many local non-profit organizations. Mr. Hyman served on the Recreation Commission during the formation of Central park and was instrumental in its creation. He also supported the annual Fourth of July fireworks. Among the local organizations, Mr. Hyman has been a director on the Washington Hospital Board and an honorary member of the Niles Rotary club.

Morris Hyman has been the recipient of several awards and honors. The Morris and Alvirda Hyman Business and Technology Building at the Ohlone College and the Alvirda Hyman Learning Center at the Fremont Adult school campus are both testimonials to the family's commitment to education.

The idea of an education foundation in Fremont was conceived by attorney Gail Hashimoto, accountant Charles Gallagher and school board member Christie Vianson in 1990, right after successfully passing a school bond. Due to an economic recession (even worse than the present one), the school district was in dire financial straits and lost many of its programs. Even in this recession, the Fremont community has demonstrated its support for education with the passage of a school bond. Gail, Charles and Christie decided to capitalize on this momentum and establish a non-profit organization to support innovative educational programs in all the schools in Fremont Unified School District. With the help of a donation from Niles Rotary towards non-profit incorporation fees, Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) was founded in December 1991.

As a very active and respected community member and also involved in the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) - his children Hattie Hyman Hughes, Alan Hyman and Howard Hyman all graduated from FUSD; Hattie from Washington High School and Alan and Howard from Mission High School - and Ohlone Community College, Mr. Hyman was approached by the founders and invited to lead the new foundation. He accepted and his role as the first leader of the organization established credibility of the foundation.

Together with Morris Hyman as president, volunteers Charles Gallagher, Gail Hashimoto, Bob Goetsch, Sunny Dykwel, Tom Driscoll, Dr. Bina Erasmus, Lyn C. Hamilton, Joseph Haraburda, Michael Samson and John Wong served as officers of Fremont Education Foundation's First Board of Directors. This Board of Directors was also supported by FUSD Board of Trustees Christie Vianson and Chuck Furman and FUSD Superintendent Raphael Belluomini as Advisory Directors. MC Hammer, Mayor William (Bill) Ball, Kristi Yamaguchi and Assembly Member Delaine Eastin served the Foundation as Honorary members.

Under the leadership of Morris Hyman, Fremont Education Foundation held its first fundraiser "Education Fest '92" in 1992. The program included entertainment by American High School's Marching band, Mission and Irvington High School's Thor Throats, the Ho, Frat Ho! (a band sponsored by MC Hammer's Bust-It-Productions) and an exhibition softball game. A softball team, comprised of members from the Fremont Fire Fighters Association and the Fremont Police Association together with celebrities from the Raiders, Warriors, and Oakland A's, played against a team consisting of people form MC Hammer's company Bust-It Productions Inc, including his brothers Chris and Louis Burrell.

Firefighter Darrell Lorenzi who had been one of the players said "It was a lot of fun - a blast! It was wonderful to play alongside professionals like Babbit, Norris and Tatum. The players were very friendly and were not over zealous. The game was nicely competitive and enjoyable from both sides. We all had a great time." More than 100 community members and local businesses including Fremont Bank, NUMMI, Safeway, Raleys, Club Sport and Fremont Flowers contributed in various ways towards the success of this first fundraiser.

In the ensuing years many more events were organized and sponsored by Fremont Bank for raising funds for Fremont Education Foundation including several Fashion Shows. Among the earlier fundraisers were Kristi Yamaguchi's Fashion Fantasy and Afternoon Tea at Club Sport Fremont. The event was chaired by Yoko Young and Hoechst Celanese had provided famous designers' garments. The models included Kristi and Brett Yamaguchi and Stuart Kew (presently Mission San Jose High School Principal).

According to past FEF board member Hattie Hyman Hughes, "One of the most memorable fundraisers was "Spring Trends '95" held at Castlewood Country Club. It was a great, well attended fashion show." This show also had an impact in the performing arts area of the Fremont community. This was the event that led to the formation of Kids on Broadway now known as Star Struck Musical Theatre. Sharon Gallacher and Sandi Luce who were on the fundraising committee of FEF invited Lori Stokes, to sing and perform at the show. Lori decided to involve kids in the show as FEF was all about kids. Together with her friend Dawn Troupe Lori put together a skit which had Dawn and Lori singing "What could I have been" with Dawn acting as a person doing nothing in life as she did not have any of the "Extras."

The skit went on to show how children were having a lot of opportunities due to FEF and ended with the kids singing a rousing chorus of "Nothing Can Stop US Now". The program was very well received and many people came to Lori to find out how to get their children involved in her group. Lori reminisces with a smile "I did not have a group then. But I did a little thinking after that, and then decided that is what I would like to try and do....start my own Musical theatre group with kids. Up to that point I had been doing Music For Minors II at MSJ Elementary School - I started the program there, and did it for five years. It is still running today. And the rest is history. I am so grateful to my friends Sandi and Sharon for asking me to help out that spring. I didn't know then that that would be the start of Star Struck Musical Theatre! That the seeds we planted that day would grow and blossom into two wonderful organizations, and would still be here making an impact on people's lives nine years later!"

With funds raised by Fremont Education Foundation, over 100 grants have been awarded to teachers in the Fremont Unified School District from 1991 to the present. The grants have funded projects in Mathematics, Applied Biotechnology, Sewing, Conflict Resolution, Technology in the classroom and the Robertson High Reality Graphix Program to name a few. A listing of schools and projects funded by the Innovative Education Grant program can be seen by visiting

FEF founder Gail Hashimoto says, "The growth and expansion of Fremont Education Foundation is tangible evidence that the Fremont community recognizes and supports education. FEF also provides an opportunity for people who do not have a direct link to the school district to participate and contribute towards its support and growth through the Foundation." This is echoed by Sandi Pantages, retired manager of Fremont Main Library and FEF board member since 1992, "I was not involved with the schools directly but I believe in quality education in our community and hence became involved with FEF. Also the public library connection was nice for FEF."

Fremont Bank and Fremont Bank Foundation have continued their support of FEF through the years. In each of the last four years they have donated $10,000 dollars to FEF for both the Innovative Grant program and the band program. The after-school band program spearheaded by School Board member Nina Moore fours years ago; gives students in all the elementary schools in Fremont, 4th through 6th grades, an opportunity to learn an instrument and be part of a band at no cost to the student. This supports the concept that music education correlates with better student performance in academics. The elementary school bands under the leadership of FEF president Lara York have performed at different community events including participating in the Fourth of July parade, Festival of India parade and the Niles Tree Lighting parade in 2003. Hattie Hyman Hughes, President of Fremont Bank Foundation, and current advisor to the FEF board says, "It has been a pleasure to meet so many individuals dedicated to quality education for our youth. Fremont Bank and the Fremont Bank Foundation have been proud to support the volunteers of the Fremont Education Foundation in attaining the goals and/or mission of the organization."

Apart from the Innovative Education Grant program and the after-school band program, the Guy Emanuele Sports Fund was started in 2003 using seed money donated by school board member Guy Emanuele. This program aims to encourage greater participation in co-curricular sports by providing financial assistance to students who wish to participate in school-sponsored sports programs but need financial assistance to acquire necessary equipment and sportswear.

Through the years from 1991 to the present, funds for the Innovative Education Grant have been raised by events like education fests, fashion shows and Macy's shopping sprees. In 2003 FEF held its first annual Excellence in Education Gala and honored Teacher of the Year Denise Mapelli. The event raised over $10,000 for the program. This year, FEF will be honoring Morris Hyman and Fremont Bank in their Second Annual Excellence in Education Gala. Event chair and FEF board member Ann Crosbie says, "We are very excited about our upcoming Excellence in Education Dinner, and are thrilled to be able to recognize Morris Hyman and Fremont Bank for all they have done to support FEF and the rest of our community through the years."

The dinner event, called "Grant Night," will have a theme based on famous Grants - Ulysses Grant, Cary Grant, Amy Grant, Lou Grant and so on. Entertainment will include performances by the talented Fremont Unified School District's administrators, teachers and staff. The Master of Ceremonies for "Grant Night" will be Captain Robert Nelson from the Fremont Police Department. "I am excited and honored to be a part of this program honoring Mr. Hyman. Besides being a close friend and business partner of my father-in-law Gene Rhodes, Mr. Hyman and Fremont Bank have also supported the Police Department in many different ways including sponsoring the department's Baker to Vegas team every year." There will also be a Raffle and Silent Auction of baskets donated by various Parent Teacher Associations, community sponsors and individual donors.

Community members and businesses can support education in Fremont and attend the event by either buying individual tickets for $75 each or by sponsoring a table in any of the categories given below:


Table of 10
Name on Table
Recognition on FEF website
Recognition in "Excellence in Education" Gala program


Attendance at VIP reception preceding event
2 tables of 10
Name on Tables
Recognition on FEF Website
Recognition in "Excellence in Education" Gala program
Recognition from Podium during event
Recognition in FUSD's "Spotlight on Schools" newsletter (distributed to all Fremont households)


Attendance at VIP reception preceding event
3 tables of 10
Name on Tables
Recognition and logo on FEF Website
Recognition in "Excellence in Education" Gala program
Recognition from Podium during event
Recognition in FUSD's "Spotlight on Schools" newsletter (distributed to all Fremont households)
Logo and name displayed prominently at dinner


Recognition and logo on FEF website
Recognition in "Excellence in Education" Gala program
Recognition from Podium during event
Recognition in FUSD's "Spotlight on Schools" newsletter (distributed to all Fremont households)
Recognition during our annual Telethon with logo displayed on air
4 complimentary tickets to the FEF "Excellence in Education" Gala and VIP reception
Logo and name displayed prominently at dinner

"Fremont Education Foundation is one of only a few places Fremont teachers can turn for funding if they have an innovative program idea they wish to implement. With education funding suffering from the budget woes of the state we feel very fortunate that we have the support of our community at an event such as this, so that we can keep the IEG program alive. Our community has proven time and again how they value education and we couldn't be more proud of the trust they place in FEF," says event chair Ann Crosbie.

The Second Annual Excellence in Education Dinner Gala "Grant Night" will be taking place on February 20th, 2004 at The Newark/Fremont Hilton, 39900 Balentine Drive, Newark, CA-94560 at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the program, to buy tickets, for sponsorships or make donations contact Fremont Education Foundation at or (510) 659-2561 or (510) 713-9940 or visit the website at

Event chair and FEF board member Ann Crosbie says, "We are very excited about our upcoming Excellence in Education Dinner, and are thrilled to be able to recognize Morris Hyman and Fremont Bank for all they have done to support FEF and the rest of our community through the years."

Ann Crosbie, Event Chair and FEF Board Member

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