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Community Invited to Foundation Luncheon


DATE: February 19, 2009

CONTACT: Lisa Saunders

(845) 574 - 4244


SUNY Rockland Community College Foundation Luncheon to Benefit
Rockland Community College Students


Suffern, NY - The community is invited to a benefit luncheon to honor those whose contributions have made a significant impact on the lives of the students at SUNY Rockland Community College.


The 9th Annual Foundation Leadership Awards Luncheon, honoring leaders in education, business and the community, will be held on Friday, March 20, Noon-2:00 p.m. at the Hilton Pearl River, Pearl River, NY.


The Rockland Community College Foundation, a charitable organization celebrating its 26th year, encourages alumni, businesses, and members of the community to provide financial resources for students in need and to fund equipment purchases and enhance facilities.


Since its inception in 1982, the Foundation has awarded almost $2 million in scholarships to students for scholastic excellence and/or financial need. Last year, the Foundation awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships. The Foundation also assists and enhances the academic programs of the College.


Business honoree

M&T Bank

Ms. Paula Mandell of West Nyack, Regional President, representing M&T Bank

M&T Bank is proud to sponsor the Foundation in their efforts to help the community achieve their educational goals. M&T Bank is the principal bank subsidiary of Buffalo-based M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB), which has assets of more than $65 billion and is among the 20 largest banks based in the United States. M&T has more than 650 offices and branches in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC. More information is available at


Education Honorees

Tanya Drake, MSN, RN, Professor of Nursing

Professor Tanya Drake of Haverstraw is passionate about her profession, universal healthcare, and the work of the American Cancer Society, for which she volunteers many hours.  She teaches Fundamentals of Nursing, Calculations in Pharmacology, Physical Assessment and continuing education courses. A published author, Drake is currently President of the Professional Nurses Association of Rockland, a volunteer for the NY State Nurse Emergency Response Team, and is Logistics Co-chair of the 2009 Relay for Life. Her awards include the Long Island University Top 50 Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award, Rockland County Excellence in Nursing Award, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development for Leadership and Teaching Excellence Award and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.


Mr. Mort Meyers, Vice President, Finance and Administration

Throughout a career dedicated to higher education, Mr. Mort Meyers of New City has provided exemplary leadership for the finance and business activities of numerous institutions and has been recognized for his service as President of the New York State Community College Business Officers Association. Meyers has been active in the community as a baseball and basketball coach, manager of the New City Babe Ruth Baseball League and board member of the Institutes for Schools of the Future. He also serves as treasurer of the Slater Jett Meyers Foundation, which raises funds to purchase therapeutic equipment for children with birth-related injuries.


Alumni Honoree

Clarke Osborn ’92, Chief of Police, Village of Suffern

A lifelong resident of Suffern, Chief Clarke Osborn was Suffern’s first DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer and continues to spear-head the annual DARE Toy Drive. He founded the Suffern Police Department DARE Street hockey league and is currently a lacrosse and hockey coach.  Appointed at the age of 38 in 2005 to the position of Suffern Chief of Police, Osborn is the youngest Police Chief in Rockland County. He is also Vice President of the Rockland County Police Chief’s Association and a trustee of the Ramapo Central School District.


Honorary Co-Chairs

Ann G. Rabbitt, NYS Assembly, 97th District

Elected Assemblywoman for the 97th District in November 2004, Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt of Greenwood Lake represents 130,000 people in seven towns and 18 villages in Orange and Rockland counties. She previously served as Greenwood Lake Chamber of Commerce president and remains active in the organization. She is a third generation woman business owner of O’Hare’s Pub in Greenwood Lake and is a 1998 recipient of the Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award as well as a 2001 winner of the New York State Woman of Distinction Award. In May 2008, she won the Women of Achievement of Orange County Public Service Award.


Kenneth Zebrowski, NYS Assembly, 94th District

Assemblyman Kenneth Paul Zebrowski of New City, a practicing attorney, was elected to the State Assembly in a special election on May 1, 2007 following the untimely passing of his father, Assemblyman Kenneth Peter Zebrowski.  Like his father, Zebrowski has been a long-time avid supporter of the College helping to secure grants and funds to enhance services to students. Upon his graduation from law school, Zebrowski and his father founded the firm of Zebrowski & Zebrowski. Currently he is “of counsel” to the firm Braunfotel & Frendel in New City. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Zebrowski served in the Rockland County Legislature and in community organizations including the Camp Venture Foundation, Loeb House/Josephs Home, and Rockland County Big Brothers Big Sisters.



Thomas P. Zugibe, Rockland County District Attorney

Since taking office in January, 2008, Thomas P. Zugibe of Garnerville has been instrumental in implementing many innovative programs, including Community Prosecution and Evidence-Based Prosecution of Domestic Violence Cases. His leadership has led to the successful prosecution of several high-profile, corruption and tax fraud-related cases. Between 1981 and 1987, Zugibe served as a prosecutor in the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, where he was promoted to Executive Assistant District Attorney. Prior to his election, Zugibe worked for two decades in private practice. In 1988, he went into partnership with Arthur J. Ferraro, Esq., one of the leading trial lawyers in the region. Zugibe taught in the Criminal Justice Department at the College from 1983 – 1986.


Ms. MariEllyn Dykstra-Donnellan, President, A. Dykstra Florist & Greenhouse

Born and raised in Rockland County, MariEllyn Dykstra-Donnellan of Valley Cottage is a second generation owner of Dykstra's Florist in Spring Valley, NY, and sits on the College’s Advisory Board for the Spring Valley Extension Center. She is the past president of the Spring Valley Rotary Club and was honored as "Rotarian of the Year" in 2008. She will be the Assistant Governor of Region 8, District 7210 of Rotary International for 2009-2010. Dykstra-Donnellan is the recipient of the Trefoil Partnership Award for "Business Person of the Year" by the Rockland County Girl Scouts. She is the past president of the Rockland County Business and Professional Women’s Association. Dykstra-Donnellan’s son, James, is a first-year student at the College.


Event Facts

Type: Foundation Leadership Awards Luncheon

Date: March 20

Time: Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Location: Hilton Pearl River

Tickets: $55.00

For further information, contact Don Cairns, Executive Director of the Foundation, at (845) 574 - 4576. For more information about SUNY Rockland Community College, visit




Rockland Community College, a unit of the State University of New York, is located 25 miles northwest of NYC. The majority of its students transfer to four-year colleges, and many find immediate employment upon earning their associate's degree or certificate. The College also offers others, from preschoolers to senior citizens, the opportunity to simply learn something new. Quality a price you can afford.

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