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Foundation gala salutes a ‘Night of Heroes’

By Miriam G. Mazliach

March 13, 2012

Who is a hero? Well, in the eyes of the public and private schools in the Hayward Unified District, they are those individuals who have extended themselves, above and beyond the norm, by their generous volunteer efforts in a variety of capacities, enough to be appreciated and recognized with a nomination from his/her school. This select group will be honored on Friday, March 23, as part of the Hayward Education Foundation Gala “Night of Heroes,” taking place at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB).

Moreover, the gala evening also has another essential purpose – that of raising necessary funds for the Teacher Grant Program. Tickets are priced at $95 per person. Designated funds, from the monies raised, are allocated to teachers based on their submitted grant proposals, to support their innovative classroom projects.

“Last year, the Hayward Education Foundation was able to fund over 74 percent of the grant requests we received and that felt good,” says President of the Hayward Education Foundation, Dianne McDermott. “We were able to bridge a gap with some of the funding losses from the State of California. We would like to do more, and we can with the support of all the components in our community,” she adds.

McDermott explains, “This year’s [gala] theme is “Count Me In,” to depict that the job of educating the students in our community is not the single responsibility of the schools; it’s a combined effort. If you’re a business, you want to be able to hire from within the community but you have to have a pool of qualified people.”

For event-goers, a variety of activities will add to the excitement and ambience of the memorable celebration. Kick off for the gala begins at 5 p.m. with no-host cocktails and as part of a Silent Auction, student artwork from Mt. Eden High School and Moreau Catholic High School, will be up for bid.

Other Silent and Live Auction items include: a three-nights stay in Arizona, monthly flower bouquets, a luxury suite to a 2012 Oakland A’s game, a case of great wines, Mendocino family getaway, two nights stay at Lake Tahoe, and many more. Be prepared to bid on these fantastic items!

And, if that is not enough to whet your appetite, raffle tickets can be purchased with a chance to win some equally amazing prizes. The “Count Me In” Grand Prize ($50/raffle ticket) is a Home Entertainment Center donated by Video Only-Hayward. Valued at $1,700 the package consists of a 55-inch Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi TV, a Boston Acoustics Sound Bar and a 48-inch black metal stand.

Among the other levels, a $20/raffle ticket includes a chance to win an iPad2 and one of the $10/raffle tickets could win the prize of a Kindle Fire. The best part is that even if you cannot attend the event, raffle tickets can still be purchased by filling out the form at the Foundation website. Visit to download the Raffle Ticket Order Form and mail with a check to: Hayward Education Foundation, P.O. Box 56444, Hayward, CA 94545.

After the cocktail hour, a sumptuous dinner will be served, beginning at 6 p.m. Emmy award-winning news reporter John M. Kessler returns as Master of Ceremonies, to help keep everything running smoothly. The program features Diane Urban, Hayward’s first female Police Chief as the keynote speaker.

Throughout the evening, musical entertainment will be provided by Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, Moreau Catholic High School Jazz Band and Hayward High School P.R.I.D.E. Marching Band.

Of special note, of course, is that Hayward Hero Award recipients will be ‘officially’ announced at the gala, and a PowerPoint slideshow presentation will highlight the awardees. Here’s a ‘sneak peek’ of the honorees, listed by school:

Janet Wallace, Bowman Elementary; Alex Padilla, Burbank Elementary; Rev. Dr. Arlene K. Nehring, Cherryland Elementary; Jessica Medina, East Avenue Elementary; Nancy (Nonnie) Moore, Eden Gardens Elementary; Carla Archuleta, Eldridge Elementary; Mary Granados, Fairview Elementary; The Kids’ Breakfast Club, Glassbrook Elementary; Cynthia Ortiz, Harder Elementary; Jarrold Esteves, Palma Ceia Elementary; Rosa Rivera, Park Elementary; Jan Carlson, Faith Ringgold Elementary; Dr. Garry Galvan, Ruus Elementary; Martha Zepeda, Schafer Park Elementary; Risa Kamimura, Southgate Elementary; Gina Torres, Stonebrae Elementary; Arquilla Conner, Strobridge Elementary; Daina Reis, Treeview/Bidwell Elementary; Rosa Escobedo, Tyrrell Elementary; Kathy Vigil, Bret Harte Middle School; Arvanderlyn Campbell, Cesar Chavez Middle School; RaFael Cardenas-Velazquez, M.L. King Jr. Middle School; Bonnie Lewis, Ochoa Middle School; Sonja Murch, Winton Middle School; Celeste and Robert Hales, Hayward High School; Navpreet Khabra, Tennyson High School; Troy McCullock, Impact Academy High School; Jerry Sheets, Moreau Catholic High School; Ana Solomon, Hayward Adult School.

As not all honorees will be present at the gala, HEF will hold a separate “Hero Dinner,” on April 26 at the Golden Peacock Restaurant in Hayward, where they will be individually recognized. The “heroes” will also receive plaques from HEF, and certificates of appreciation from Assemblymember Mary Hayashi’s Office.

To put on an event, such as this one, requires the involvement of many dedicated volunteers as well as partners from the business sector. In particular, the Hayward Education Foundation would like to thank these major contributors to the ‘Night of Heroes Gala’: Wells Fargo Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Fremont Bank, R. Zaballos & Sons, Inc. and the Office of the President at Cal State East Bay as the Facility Sponsor. Additionally, Table Sponsors include Hayward Education Association, Chabot College, Hayward Firefighters, DeVry University, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.

Support Hayward students, education and the community by attending ‘A Night of Heroes,’ and count yourself in!

Hayward Education Foundation Gala
Friday, March 23
5 p.m. - Cocktail Hour
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner and Program
Student Union at Cal State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward
For information call (510) 881-0890 or email:
Tickets: $95 per person/$760 per table of eight

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