On Monday evening May 18th, the Nazzaro Center, North End Against Drugs and North End Waterfront Health all came together at the center for a true community collaboration. Traditionally, the Nazzaro Dance Program holds their year-end recital as a table setter for North End Against Drugs to select and present their yearly scholarship awards to North End students enrolled in both public and private schools from K1 through college.
This year, however, the program was expanded by adding a prologue in the form of a drug abuse workshop presented by Norma Reppucci of NE/W Health. Norma, a registered nurse with a masters in Conflict Resolution and also the vice-president for Community Health Care, gave a very well informed and compelling message to the crowd of about 100, touching on many aspects of drug abuse and its prevention.
This was followed by a musical number from the Nazzaro’s warm up band, under the direction of volunteer Chris Romano; all leading up to a rousing, energy driven hour long dance recital put on by 28 members of the Nazzaro Center, choreographed by dance instructor Ingrid Oslund.
Then, the main event when 14 winners (9 private and 5 public school students) were randomly selected by NEAD board members Olivia Scimeca, Karen D’Amico, Carl Ameno and Laurie D’Elia. The private school winners had checks for $500 written out to their 2015-16 school while the public school students were all presented with $150 Staples gift certificates.
Some of these winners included Calvin and Paul Szulc, Mattea Del Peschio, Maria Fountas and Dani Pezzuto. In all, over $5,000 in scholarships were given out, made possible only through the generosity of NEAD benefactors which include donations from NEAD itself, the Police Activities League, NorthEndWaterfront.com, the Nazzaro Center, Dave+Barbara Roberts, Carla Gomes, Vinny+Denise Sablone and Bill Woods.
North End Against Drugs is overwhelmed by the support they get year after year when it looks like the scholarship fund is about to expire. Anyone caring to donate to next year’s fund can do so by making any amount of contribution payable to NEAD, which can either be mailed or dropped off at the Nazzaro Center. On that note, NEAD would like to thank an anonymous donor (you know who you are), who made a $1,000 donation the day after this event, towards the 2016-17 school year awards!
Photos by Carl Ameno. Click on the thumbnail images below to see larger photos. For more happenings at the Nazzaro Center, check out our website at NazzaroBCYF.com.