WRITTEN BY MIA LENTINELLO

The 2012 President’s Club Dinner was held at the Liberty Warehouse in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.

The event was hosted by Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe, owner of the Liberty Warehouse and the renowned River Café, along with Catherine Greene, member of St. Francis College Board of Trustees.

The event served as a thank you to donors of St. Francis College for their generosity to the school.

The President’s Club is a dedicated group of alumni and friends of the college who donate $2,500 or more annually in one or more areas: annual funds, events, or scholarships.

In 2011, members of the President’s Club donated over $2.2 million, which represented almost 87-percent of the total annual revenue generated.

The generosity of this distinguished group supports not only student scholarships but also capital improvements. Renderings of upcoming improvements and master plan designs were on display throughout the venue.

Several students were invited to attend the dinner. It was a great opportunity for students to meet, greet and thank some of SFC’s most generous donors and network with some of our most successful alumni.

Student speaker Nikol Santana ’14 talked about her experience as a scholarship recipient and gave a speech and added a few jokes. As a Red Sox fan, she couldn’t help but say something about the Yankees.

Santana reminisced about a promise she and her sister made to their mother. They said they would support themselves once they got to college. But as most of us students know, that is easier said than done.

Finally she recalled the day Thomas Flood, Vice President for Development, called her into his office to tell her she would be receiving a scholarship, it was a dream come true for her.

Flood took the floor again to announce that Santana’s benefactors, the Cannistra’s, were at the dinner. Making a trip to Brooklyn the Cannistra’s came in order to attend the dinner and get the chance to meet the student they helped.

Filled with tears of joy, Santana hugged the donors who made an impact on her life. By the end of her speech, there was not a dry eye in the room. President’s Club members truly enjoy this night of inspiration. The hope is that they will continue to attend and that new members will be recruited.

This event was the perfect opportunity to give thanks to the generosity that supports our school and keeps the Franciscan Spirit alive.

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