Submitted by Diana Hanford
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Celebrating 40 years of serving teachers and students in Broward County, Broward Education Foundation strolled back to school at the mythical Rydell High made famous in the hit movie Grease during the BrightStar Credit Union’s GREASE Lightnin’ Presented by Office Depot at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort.
Grease is the word and the word that was heard as the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds gathered for the annual fundraiser benefiting teachers and students in Broward County Public Schools.
The chills were multiplying as guests donned rolled-up jeans, satin pink jackets, poodle skirts, and of course, leather jackets while enjoying a lively cocktail reception, silent auction, and interactive carnival game. The South Broward High School Bulldogs Drumline and Cheer Team burst into the reception and led guests into the ballroom transformed into the Rydell High gymnasium, complete with streamers, balloons, and a “drive-in” at one end of the ballroom showing the iconic movie.
During dinner, guests were dazzled by the incredibly talented “Rockin’ Rydell Rangers,” students from Parkway Middle School performing a song and dance medley. The students received a standing ovation for their amazing performance.
Each year, the Foundation honors a corporate partner for their contributions. Memorial Healthcare System was awarded the 4th Annual “Heart of Broward.” The award was accepted by Tim Curtin, Memorial Administrative Director of Community Services who praised Broward Education Foundation for helping Broward’s students and teachers.
A highlight of the celebration was the Broward Education Foundation announcement that Amazon was awarding $40,000 in scholarships and paid internships to each of four deserving Broward County Public School students beginning college in the fall. The Amazon 2023 Future Engineer Scholarship recipients were Tomas Baron from Cypress Bay High, Ethan Del Campo from Pompano Beach High, Schneidine Dorelien from Atlantic Technical College, and Sofia Guarisma from College Academy at Broward College.
“All of our guests had a swell time reliving this timeless classic and dancing the night away to the iconic music of the 1950s,” said Shea Ciriago, CEO of Broward Education Foundation. James Knapp, Broward Education Foundation’s Director of Advancement, added, “We are eternally devoted, and very thankful, for our many generous partners, supporters, and friends who help us raise much-needed funds to maximize the quality of education in Broward County Public Schools.”
In addition to title partner BrightStar Credit Union and presenting partner Office Depot, GREASE Lightnin’ partners included senior carnival partner Amazon, drive-in partner Lenovo |Jar Systems, Broward Teachers Union auction partner, JM Family Enterprises, Inc. hot rod valet partner, and Memorial Healthcare System KRAZ reception partner. T-bird partners included Arthur J. Gallagher, Johns Eastern Co. Inc, Pirtle Construction and UKG Ultimate Kronos Group.
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 teachers; and scholarships for qualified high school seniors. Each year, the Foundation contributes more than $4 million to Broward County Public Schools, serving as the catalyst for educational excellence.