CHS Scholarship Fund Recipients Recount How Aid Made the Difference

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From the Columbia High School Scholarship Fund (CHSSF):

CHSSF 2016 Scholarship Recipient

CHSSF Scholarship Recipient Thomas Nichols

The Columbia High School Scholarship Fund held its fifth annual cocktail party fundraiser on September 24 at the home of Patricia Bell in South Orange.

The event was set against the backdrop of Bell’s extensive modern art collection, creating the feeling of strolling through a gallery in Soho or Williamsburg. The guests dined on scrumptious food provided by local caterer, Sherrie Katz and enjoyed fine wines donated by Ms. Bell. Two former recipients, Alexandra Fagundez and Thomas Nichols, spoke about what the support of the Scholarship Fund meant to them.

Fagundez described how her scholarships allowed her to pay for school and receive her degree and how she is impacting the lives of her students as a classroom teacher. An interesting footnote is that she is the first in her family to graduate from college.

Nichols told a similar story, adding that the scholarship award came at a difficult time for his family and it helped motivate him to continue his education and achieve his goal of becoming a teacher.

Madeline Tugentman, event chair, told the guests that over the past five years, the Fund has provided more than $660,000 in scholarships to almost 500 Columbia High School seniors and graduates.

CHSSF Scholarship Recipient Alexandra Fagundez

CHSSF Scholarship Recipient Alexandra Fagundez

We are grateful for the support of local businesses and friends: Edible Jersey, Investors Bank, Fidelity Investments, the Vanessa Pollock Team at Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty, Robert Northfield at Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty, Synergy Home Care, Allison Ziefert at Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty, the Dickson Group, Dollinger, Drachman & Tolstoi, Jack Green Realty, Slate Master, Sweet Life by Design, Moods in Hair, Patricia Bell, Dr. James Lee, Sr., Dr. James Lee, Jr., Neil & Mila Jasey, Patrick Morrissy & Jean Campbell and the Sahner & Casey Family.

We look forward to another banner year in 2017 so that we can create more stories like the ones above. Thank you, Madeline. It was a beautiful event that wouldn’t have happened without your hard work and commitment to CHSSF.

To donate to the Columbia High School Scholarship Fund, visit

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