ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – May 6, 2010 – Joseph A. Ferrara, a resident of Rockville Centre, is one of three outstanding people who will be honored at the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation “Stars for Students Gala”. The annual gala will be held on Friday, May 21, 2010 at the RXR Plaza in Uniondale. [See Ferrara’s biography at end] Bernadette Casey-Smith of Roslyn Harbor (St. Mary’s Parish, Roslyn) and Ralph A. Nappi of Albertson (St. Peter’s Parish, Port Washington and St. Aidan’s Parish, Williston Park) are also being honored. The Tomorrow’s Hope Gala is the primary fundraiser for the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation.
Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation was founded in 2005 by the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre. It is a not-for-profit organization that has succeeded in raising money and enrollment in Catholic elementary schools on Long Island. The mission of the foundation is to ensure the excellence as well as the continuance of Catholic elementary schools on Long Island, by increasing awareness and by providing scholarships and program funding for the needs of students and schools throughout the diocese.
“The success of the gala is of particular importance this year given the challenging economic climate,” said Sr. Joanne Callahan, O.S.U., Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre. “We have so many parents wanting to enroll their children in our fine schools, but they just don’t have the means to do so. The gala and other activities of the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation are created to help these parents and ultimately their children receive the Catholic school education they desire.”
The gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour followed by dinner from 7:30-10:30 p.m. There will be a silent and live auction with dozens of items.
“The Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation has raised funds for innovative programs in a number of areas such as technology,” said Lewis Ranieri, chairman, Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation. “But, our main focus is providing scholarships to students in the Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese [Nassau and Suffolk counties]. In four years, the Foundation has provided $6.6 million in scholarships to 4,400 students. The gala is our largest single fundraising event for the Children’s Scholarship Fund.”
Last year, the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation distributed over $1.75 million in scholarships to over 1,500 students. Currently, the Foundation is reviewing over 2,000 applications from students seeking financial assistance hoping to attend a Catholic elementary school.
There are 57 Catholic elementary schools and 11 Catholic high schools serving more than 32,000 students in the diocese which encompasses Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Joseph A. Ferrara
Joseph A. Ferrara is chairman and C.E.O. of Ferrara Bros. Building Materials Corp., one of New York City’s oldest and largest suppliers of ready-mixed concrete and other building materials to the construction industry.
Mr. Ferrara is the Chairman Emeritus of the South Queens Boys & Girls Club with over forty years of service. Under Mr. Ferrara’s leadership, fundraising and recruiting efforts, the Boys & Girls Club has grown tremendously and now serves over 1,500 children.
Mr. Ferrara has also served as trustee of the Joseph Licitra Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has distributed over $200,000 for college tuition for disadvantaged students. He also serves as a management trustee on the Teamsters Local 282 Pension and Welfare Funds. Since 1999, Mr. Ferrara has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Jamaica Hospital. Mr. Ferrara is a past president of the Garden City Country Club and chaired their Long Term Planning Committee in charge of a $10 million renovation project.
Mr. Ferrara has been honored and received awards from numerous philanthropic and industry organizations including: National Boys & Girls Club of America; Helen Keller Services for the Blind; United Hospital; Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities (ACLD); American ORT; Concrete Industry Board and many more.
Mr. Ferrara’s business success would not have been possible without the love and support of his family. He was married to Joan, his childhood sweetheart for nearly 53 years until her untimely passing in March, 2009. Together, they raised three sons, all of whom received Catholic school educations. Mr. Ferrara also attended Catholic grammar school and is the proud grandparent of eight grandchildren.
About The Catholic Church of Long Island
The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million). There are 133 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. In 2008, Catholic Charities assisted more than 55,485 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (12/08).
CONTACT: Kimberly Short
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 209