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Foundation fundraiser honors champions of business, education and community
Dec. 7, 2011
The mission of the Community College of Rhode Island is to help students change their lives, and each year the college honors some of its partners in business, education and the community who have contributed greatly toward this goal.
The CCRI Foundation, the fundraising arm of the college that helps students in financial need, held its annual Changing Lives Celebration on Dec. 1 to honor these partners.
The celebration, “A Cool Winter’s Evening,” was held at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, R.I. in honor of Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island as Business Champion; Year Up Providence as Community Champion; and Walter Jachna ’98 and Eileen Jeanes Jachna as Education Champions. More than 180 guests were in attendance. View photos from the event.
In addition to the awards ceremony, there was a silent and live auction to raise funds for student scholarships with prizes such as two tickets to the Boston Bruins, a one-week stay in an Idaho home overlooking Grand Teton National Park and a one-week stay in Key Largo, Fla. Lifespan, Amica and The Washington Trust Company also provided key contributions through sponsorships. The net proceeds from the fundraiser event, which will benefit students, was $38,000.
During his opening remarks, CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale said there were 3,100 enrolled or potential students who could not afford their tuition this year.
“That’s why we’re here,” he said, “to find ways of helping these young people get an education.”
Di Pasquale introduced each of the champions and thanked them for their contributions to the college and the community. The award ceremony included a video presentation featuring each honoree and their achievements:
- Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island - Business Champion
- Year Up Providence - Community Champion
- Walter Jachna '98 and Eileen Jeanes Jachna - Education Champions
Upon receiving the award on behalf of IIARI, Executive Vice President Mark Male said the entire organization is proud to be recognized for its contributions to CCRI.
“To say that we’re flattered and humbled by this would be entirely accurate. On behalf of all of our agents, our board and our officers, we appreciate the recognition,” he said.
Meghan Hughes, executive director of Year Up Providence, thanked CCRI for its partnership with Year Up, noting that there are 5.2 million high school graduates who are neither employed nor enrolled in college.
“I want to thank CCRI for working with the ones who belong to Rhode Island,” she said. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in their potential.”
After receiving the Education Champion Award, Walter Jachna said that CCRI’s mission to educate Rhode Islanders has become even more important given today’s poor economic conditions.
“[CCRI] provides our citizens with an affordable opportunity to get an excellent education,” he said, adding that he hopes state support for the institution will be expanded.
Eileen Jachna, a long time educator, said that CCRI’s vibrant and caring faculty, as well as its skilled graduates, make the college “the education gem of Rhode Island.”