Newsroom_news_releases8bSTAMFORD, CT – March 19, 2015 – Nearly 150 community members gathered at UConn Stamford’s Atrium on Monday, March 16th to join the Stamford Public Education Foundation as it recognized businesses and community leaders for their commitment and service to education in Stamford. This year’s Excellence in Education Awards honored the wonderful work of PwC for its commitment to volunteerism (SPEF Corporate Award), Mike Meyer, Stamford Public Schools, for his collaborative leadership in the Stamford School district (SPEF Educators Award), and Eileen and Fred Springer for their philanthropic support of SPEF and the community (SPEF Leadership Award).

Newsroom_news_releases8cExcellence in Education also raised nearly $80,000 in much-needed funds: SPEF is 100% donor funded, with all of its educational resources, such as mentoring, free book distributions, tutoring and more, supplied to Stamford schools at no cost to the district. Special thanks to the top-tier sponsors: Pat & Bob Phillips, PwC, RBS, Compass Group, GE Asset Management, Pitney Bowes, Chase Bank, First County Bank, Eileen & Fred Springer, BevMax Stamford, and Inovia Media Group.

The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring music from Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic. The program started with Broadway’s own Frank Mastrone singing the national anthem and with Lou Ursone as Master of Ceremonies. Presentations were delivered by SPEF Executive Director Sue Rigano, SPEF Board Co-Presidents Barbara Aronica-Buck and Bob King, Board of Education president Jackie Heftman, and Mayor David Martin.

Newsroom_news_releases8aThe most touching and inspirational moment of the evening, however, was the arrival of one of SPEF’s Mentor–Mentee pairs to the stage. Cloonan Middle School student Maddie Ballard and her mentor Cynthia Aguilar shared how meaningful and life-changing it is to be part of SPEF’s Stamford Mentoring Program.