Broward Education Foundation Piloted BrightStar Credit Union’s TOP FUN presented by Office Depot to New Heights for Broward County Public Schools

 Mary Behnke and Hallandale High School JROTC under the direction of Army Sgt. First Class Troy Findley. (See more photos on

Submitted by Diana Hanford

(Photo credit: Downtown Photography)

Greg and Melissa Cassamajor with Michael Cardona

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — It was an unforgettable ride, packed with nonstop action and entertainment as Broward Education Foundation took flight with BrightStar Credit Union’s TOP FUN presented by Office Depot at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort to raise funds for students and teachers in Broward County Public Schools.

The annual themed fundraiser saluted the Fort Lauderdale Air Show and paid homage to Top Gun: Maverick, the soon-to-be released sequel to the iconic Top Gun movie, with guests donning aviator glasses, leather jackets, flight suits and their finest patriotic attire.

Highlights from the high-flying evening included the Broward Teachers Union

Broward Education Foundation Vice-Chair Jean McIntyre and CEO Shea Ciriago presenting Verizon’s Merdochey LaFrance with Broward Education Foundation’s 3rd Annual (002)

Officer’s Club cocktail reception complete with F14 flight simulators and a silent auction, a delicious dinner, live musical entertainment, and dancing. Broward Education Foundation board member Alex Price, a doppelganger for Tom Cruise’s Maverick character, made special guest appearance and serenaded guests with memorable moments and songs from Top Gun.

“When I received the “MayDay’ that the Foundation’s scheduled Maverick flamed out and missed his red-eye flight from San Diego that morning, I was elated to fly to the rescue,” said Price, Office Depot’s National Director of Community Advancement. “This gave 3rd grade me a chance to live out a boyhood dream!”

Broward Education Foundation recognized Verizon as the 3rd Annual “Heart of Broward” Honoree. Verizon’s steadfast support of the Foundation’s Innovative

Dustin- Viper-Jacobs Eric-Hollywood-Chisem-Hollywood Alex – Maverick- Price Robert -Goose-Kuypers serenade Broward School Board Member Donna-Charlie- Korn with (002)

Teaching Program was instrumental in providing crucial support throughout the pandemic and enabled educators to develop curriculums that propelled student achievement in STEM. The Verizon Innovative Learning initiative targets Title I middle schools in Broward County and addresses barriers to digital inclusion.

Among the guests attending the sold-out fundraiser included Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools Dr. Vickie L. Cartwright, Broward County School Board Members Chair Laurie Rich Levinson, Vice-Chair Patricia Good, Donna P. Korn, Debra Hixon, Lori Alhadeff, and Ann Murray and along with numerous South Florida elected officials and community and educational leaders.

“As we emerge from this unprecedented time, we’ve come to realize that no matter how resilient we are, our students and teachers in Broward County Public Schools need our support now more than ever before,” said Shea Ciriago, CEO of Broward Education Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to our loyal wingmen, our generous partners and supporters who enable us to raise much-needed awareness and funds to maximize the quality of education in our community.”

Karriem Edwards John Hart Alexis EdwardsRichelle Kubsch Audri Amaro Sharu Goodwyn Diana Metcalf Madison Beaudette B- Alex Price Alex Escobar (002)

Proceeds benefit Broward Education Foundation’s transformational programs and initiatives for students and teachers in Broward County Public Schools. Programs include innovative teaching grants to advance PreK-12 achievement; school supplies and educational materials for Title I students and class-rooms; and scholarships for qualified high school seniors. Each year, the Foundation contributes more than $3 million to Broward County Public Schools, serving as the catalyst for educational excellence.

Sponsors in addition to Brightstar Credit Union and Office Depot, were Broward Teachers Union, Cox Media Group, Verizon, Johns Eastern Co., Inc., JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Memorial Healthcare System, Pirtle Construction, Ultimate Kronos Group, Arthur J. Gallagher Benefit Services, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management, Ballard Partners, Broward County Athletic Association, Broward Health, Charles H. Wanza, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Charter Schools Of Excellence, First Family Insurance, Harmony Development Center, iHeart Media, and The Fischer Group.

Horacio Randazzo and Ana Calderon-Randazzo Becky and Scott Ford Vilma Rivera Amanda Tienjaroonkul Seated Lorraine Shim DeAnn Hazey and Kathy Salerno (002)
BCPS School Board Member Patti Good Broward Education Foundation Board Members Ruth Carter-Lynch Wilnar Julmiste and Sue Colton BCPS Board Members Donna Korn an (002)
Broward Co. Property Appraiser Marty Kiar Broward Co. Public Schools Supt. Dr. Vickie L. Cartwright and Broward Co. Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott (002)
About Carma Henry 19968 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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