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IHC fundraiser to recognize distinguished alumni and raise money for student scholarships

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WATERTOWN — Immaculate Heart Central School’s annual Legacy Gala to raise money for student scholarships has sold out of tickets, with more than 300 community members planning to attend Saturday.

Over the last three years, the school has held the annual gala to celebrate the school system, honor the recipients of the distinguished alumni, Friends of Immaculate Heart and Immaculate Heart Community Service Awards and raise funds to benefit students.

“Last year we were able to raise $20,000. We’re hoping to raise at least $40,000 this year,” said Christopher E. Hornbarger, executive system administrator at Immaculate Heart. “Our goal was to have 200 people attend; 300 people are coming. To reach capacity of the room was incredible.”

At the gala, to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1290 Arsenal St., four alumni whose dedication to the school has helped the district maintain programs, provide student scholarships and more will be honored.

The gala will honor its youngest distinguished alumni member, Brian Rich, class of 1996; recipients of the Friends of the Immaculate Heart award Jayme M. and JoAnn M. St. Croix, classes of 1974 and 1975, respectively, and the community service award recipient, J. Richard Gaffney, class of 1949.

In 2006, Mr. Rich established an IHC scholarship in the name of Sister Jeanne Baptiste to honor “the power of an astonishing teacher and a witness to her remarkable Christian life.”

Mr. and Mrs. St. Croix are being honored for their efforts to help sustain the school through their constant volunteering, involvement and financial support.

Mr. Gaffney will receive the community service award for his dedication to the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival, an event he helped establish in 1986 and continued to co-organize. The festival has served as a prosperous fundraising opportunity for many nonprofit groups and churches.

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