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Rochester Education Foundation:  Because every child deserves a great education.
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“A Toast to REF and our Partners” 2014

A festive crowd celebrated the strong bonds between community partners and our city school students at “A Toast to REF and our Partners” on October 29, 2014.

Dr. Walter Cooper and Mary Worboys-Turner
Dr. Walter Cooper and Mary Worboys-Turner graciously co-hosted at “A Toast to REF” October 29 at the Cutler Union of the Memorial Art Gallery.

The community partners honored at the event -- three individuals and one program -- have had a major impact on the lives of students and teachers in the city school district. Conversations heard throughout the Cutler Ballroom at the Memorial Art Gallery Wednesday evening attributed personal and professional success to these extraordinary honorees.

Educator Mariana Barry of School Without Walls received the first-ever “Advantage Inspire Award” for an exceptional Rochester City School District teacher. Attendees heard about her creative approach to teaching, including the use of poetry slams to encourage students to love poetry. Ms. Barry received a $200 award from Advantage in honor of her teaching excellence.

George Tsanis, Pat Braus, and Mariana Barry
REF Board Chair George Tsanis and REF Executive Director Pat Braus congratulate Advantage Inspire Award Winner Mariana Barry of School Without Walls (center).

Volunteer Karen Marquardt received a “Making a Difference Award” for being an exceptional volunteer on behalf of city students. Mrs. Marquardt launched her volunteer career after her retirement as a teacher in Fairport. Working with the international service organization Altrusa, Ms. Marquardt has donated thousands of books to city students at schools 25, 42 and Rochester International Academy.

The Youth Apprenticeship Program at Rochester General Hospital of Rochester Regional Health System also received a “Making a Difference Award.” The program has provided excellent mentoring for hundreds of city students, who spend half their day at school and half their day in the program at RGH. The program, which has been running for 25 years, has been a steppingstone for more than 500 alumni, including 60 graduates currently employed there.

Pat Braus with Karen Marquardt
REF Executive Director Pat Braus with Making a Difference Award Winner Karen Marquardt.

The final award was presented to Edward Cavalier, who received the Lifetime Commitment to Children and Education Award. Mr. Cavalier has been an educator in Rochester for 46 years, including 15 years as principal of East High School. Mr. Cavalier also has taught educators at St. John Fisher and the College at Brockport, and served as a leader of ASAR, supporting his fellow school administrators. Currently he is Chief Executive Officer at Urban Choice Charter School. Mr. Cavalier also played a critical role in the growth of Rochester Education Foundation, as a founding board member in 2005 and chair of the board just before he stepped down due to term limits earlier this year.

Guests enjoyed a video created by Philip Lange featuring city school students impacted by our programs.

Thanks to all of our sponsors, guests and volunteers who made this evening special!

Ken Frazier and Dr. Richard S. Constantino
Ken Frazier and Dr. Richard S. Constantino of the Youth Apprenticeship Program of Rochester General Hospital.
Pat Braus, George Tsanis, and Edward Cavalier
Pat Braus and George Tsanis with REF’s Lifetime Commitment to Children and Education Award Winner Edward Cavalier.

George Tsanis and Pat Braus congratulate representatives of the Youth Apprenticeship Program of Rochester General Hospital
George Tsanis and Pat Braus congratulate representatives of the Youth Apprenticeship Program of Rochester General Hospital, winner of REF's Making A Difference Award.
Photo album: click here
Click here to see more photos from the event.
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