The Fifth Annual D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation Awards Gala is a TOUCHDOWN For Community’s “Difference Makers”
In a star-studded evening, filled with inspirational testimonies, four of New York and New Jersey’s most influential people received the highest honor and praise from the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation. The 5th Annual Awards Gala was held at The Swan Club on Tuesday June 4, 2013, and featured dinner, dancing, and a live auction for fantastic prizes like Super Bowl tickets, luxury vacation stays, and autographed sports memorabilia. All proceeds benefit the D’Brickashaw Ferguson foundation which carries the motto “Building Communities One Brick at a Time.” The foundation works to improve the life of students by awarding academic scholarships, and mentor type training programs for new high school graduates entering college. The Foundation also helps church to repair buildings and church owned properties, as well as supporting ministries like clothing and food banks.
Each year the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation honors like minded individuals, who balance careers, family, and extracurricular activities, while selflessly giving back to their communities. The first award recipient was New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez, who shares not only D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s passion for football, but also his desire to make a difference in the community. Mr. Sanchez is an active participant in a number of charitable organizations including the Fire Department of New York, youth groups, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Sanchez was among the first responders to the Jersey Shore touring the areas affected by the term and helping citizens in need.
Another one of the honorees was also a ‘first responder’ to Hurricane Sandy, the Rev. Regena Thomas pastor of Allen AME Church in Atlantic City. Rev. Thomas’ church was damaged by the storm and many of her members were left without homes. Rev. Thomas used her influences as the former Secretary of State to bring resources to her community. Rev. Thomas is also one of the leading political consultants for the Democratic National Committee and can often be found on the frontlines of social justice issues.
The D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation also recognized Phil Castaldo, owner of two 7-Eleven franchises in Commack, NY. Mr. Castaldo has worked to support the Marines Toys For Tots Campaign, the Muscular Distrophy Association, and Boy Scout Troop 3, the oldest Boy Scout troop in the state of New York. Mr. Castaldo also serves as an usher in his church St. Thomas More in Hauppauge.
In an effort to create a legacy of ‘difference makers,’ the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation presented the 2013 Student Inspiration Award to Daniel Clayton. Mr. Clayton will attend University of Florida in the fall and, throughout his life he has excelled in the classroom and the community. Mr. Clayton graduated Salutatorian with a GPA of 98.69. He was on the honor roll throughout high school, and as a member of the National Honor Society, and the Science, Math, Business and Marketing, and Spanish Honor Societies as well. In addition to excelling in academics, Mr. Clayton is also a student athlete having competed in track and field, cross country, and with the swim team. Mr. Clayton is also a gifted musician performing with the Jazz Band and the Select Strings Orchestra. Mr. Clayton has also been a student leader in the Uniondale community where he grew up. He is very active in the DECA club, PTSA, Student Council, Key Club, to name a few. He has also participated in leadership conferences with Jack and Jill of America and Junior National Youth Leader’s Conference. He is also a dedicated Boy Scout, having recently obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. Additionally Mr. Clayton is active in his church, Rehoboth Open Bible Church, and has a very close, loving relationship with his supportive family.
All of the honorees epitomize the mission and goals of the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation. Your generous support of the foundation enhances our ability to extend to deserving students and communities the best opportunities to improve and grow stronger.