Thank you to everyone for attending our 23rd annual AFE Gala!




















































The Gala is AFE’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The pandemic may have put the Gala on hold, but it did not decrease the need for AFE’s programs and services – in fact, the need is even greater now. Thank you to our generous Business Sponsors and Honorary Committee Members!

Business Sponsors

Summa Cum Laude


Magna Cum Laude

Cum Laude


Honeywell Logo

Honor Society

Albany Public School Administrators Association
CSEA – Local 1000
First New York FCU
Honest Weight Food Co-op
RC3 Communications

Individual Supporters

Cum Laude

Constance Centrello
Chuck and Barbara Manning
Chet and Karen Opalka

Honor Society

Charles and Charlotte Buchanan
Albert De Salvo
Judy Doesschate and Tom Keefe
Ann Gifford
Kirsten A. Hernandez
Annette Nanes and Scott Meyer
Varada Pandya-Vaughan
Amy Savoie
Onnolee and Larry Smith
Charles Shopsis and Audrey Smolin
David and Sandra Whiston

Honorary Committee

Supt. Kaweeda Adams
Natalie Aiello and Robert Paley
Aimee Allaud
Natisha Alexander
Melissa Baer Bourgeois and Richard Bourgeois
Ken Baker
Gary Bakst, M.D.
Dr. R. Bamberger
The Bamberger Family
Sheryl and Steve Baum
Doris E. Bedell
Michele Atallah & George Benson
Judy Bonds
Alex Casale
Peter Casale
Linda Jackson Chalmers
Ashley Chapple
Drs. Sita Subbarum and Sridar Chittur
Cynthia Clo and Cindy Moorcraft
Sarah and Sean Conley
Natalie and John Criscione
Gene Damm
Violetta De Rosa
Susan D’Entremont and John B. Jones
Michael R. DeVall and Betty
Susan DuBois
Mark Eagan, Capital Region Chamber
Douglas Ebersman, C.P.A.
Amy P. Ellis
Hon. Corey Ellis
Erin M. Engstrom
Anne Erling
Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy
Hon. Ginnie Farrell
Dr. F. Maxine Fantroy-Ford
Elaine C. Freedman/RLF Realty
Nicholas Horton ’82 and Julia Riseman
Liz Hitt and Nancy Kelly
Pamela and Robert Howell
Karen M. Jones
Janine Jurkowski
Margaret and Steve King
Hon. Darius Shahinfar and Noelle Kinsch
Denise and Ted Kolankowski
Hon. Ellen Krejci
Ron and Katie Lesko
Martha and Leo Levy
Whitney Malone
Paul Masters and Jill Taylor
Hon. John T. McDonald III
Jim and Thea MacFawn
Gail and William Meehan
Ruth Pelham
Pratt & Associates
Bonnie Premo
Aaron and Claire Proffitt
Jim and Roberta Read
Margie Rector
Scott Dolan and Sarah Reginelli
Martha T. Rozett
Hon. Anne Savage
School of Education, University at Albany, SUNY
Hon. Kathy M. Sheehan
Sam and JP Shipherd
Mari Shopsis
Bobbie Siegel
Johanna Steper
Karen and Todd Strong
Ellen Sullivan
Mary E. Sullivan
Theresa and Carl Swidorski
Anita Thayer and Bill Ritchie
Jonathan and Lisa Thomson
Erin Tobin and Roger Bearden
Congressman Paul Tonko
Theresa Vaughan and David Cherubin
Daniel Vaughan-Cherubin
Michael Vaughan-Cherubin
Bob and Deb Ward
Hon. Tabetha Wilson
Joe and Emma Wolfe
Deborah and Joshua Zamer

COVID-19 Vaccines: Helpful or Harmful?

AFE was honored to bring together Dr. Janice Pride-Boone, Pediatrician; Dr. Boahema Pinto, Emergency Medicine at Albany Medical Center; Brooke A Raveendranath, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, St. Peters Health Partners, and LaQuetta Ellis, LPN, Co-Owner, Hearts and Mind Training Center to discuss concerns that many people have about getting the COVID-19 vaccine or vaccinating their child. Questions addressed at the forum included:

  • Why are Black and African American people unequally impacted by COVID-19?
  • Why is the Latino community unequally impacted by COVID-19?
  • Are the COVID-19 vaccines being used to experiment on people of color?
  • Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
  • What are the side effects of the vaccine?
  • How are vaccine side effects different from COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Why is there more than one vaccine? Are there any differences between them? Will I be able to choose which vaccine I get?
  • How did they develop these vaccines so quickly and how can they be safe if they were developed quickly?
  • They say it’s safe now, but how do we know what it will do ten years from now?
  • If the vaccine works, why are people still getting COVID? And why all these boosters?

Recordings of the forum are available on YouTube in English:

y español:

Albany Fund For Education Annual Gala 2019