DCC Foundation Gala Draws 300 to Honor Two, Raise Scholarship Funds

March 28, 2011 – The Dutchess Community College Foundation’s annual Gala - Community’s Bridge to the Future - was held on Saturday, March 26 at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie. The event drew more than 300 guests to honor two outstanding individuals and raise more than $110,000 for student scholarships.

New York State Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro, ’01, was inducted into the DCC Alumni Hall of Fame, and local attorney Lou Lewis received the Bernard Handel Community Leadership Award.

“Events like the gala and the generosity of our donors make it possible for the Foundation to award scholarships that help our students fund their education,” said DCC President Dr.
D. David Conklin. “The success our Alumni Hall of Fame inductee - Marc Molinaro - has achieved, illuminates the impact a DCC education can have, and contributions our graduates make to our region.”

Molinaro graduated from DCC with an A.A. in Liberal Arts Humanities and Social Science. In 1994, when he was just 18, Molinaro was elected to the Tivoli Village Board of Trustees – making him the youngest person ever elected to office in New York state. The next year he became the youngest mayor in the U.S. and went on to be elected to four terms in the Dutchess County Legislature.

Now beginning his third term representing the 103rd District in the New York State Assembly, Molinaro’s accomplishments include leading the fight to preserve the Hudson River Valley Greenway and adopt sweeping budget and ethics reform legislation. In addition, he joined then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in sponsoring and adopting the “Government Consolidation and Citizen Empowerment Act.” He also is the sponsor of several improvements to New York state’s election law, continues to oppose the MTA payroll tax and works to provide the necessary relief to revitalize the local economy and improve the shared quality of life. 

Lou Lewis has been deeply involved in the Poughkeepsie community for the last 40 years. He served for 20 years on the Board of Trustees of Marist College and for 25 years as vice president of the Bardavon 1896 Opera House. He also has been president of Dutchess County Landmarks, Amrita Club, Dutchess County Bar Association, Poughkeepsie Rotary, and on the board of the Jewish Federation. He also is a co-founder of The Hudson Institute for Renewable Energy.

“Lou is the consummate volunteer and the perfect individual to receive the Community Leadership Award I established two years ago,” said Bernard Handel. “He has enhanced the lives of us all by his selfless service to countless area non-profits that enhance our community.”

Handel is a longtime supporter of the College and a current member of the DCC Foundation board and has funded a faculty endowed chair, among many other contributions to DCC.

Gala sponsors include Pamal Broadcasting, IBM, Rhinebeck Savings Bank, Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management and Absolute Auctions & Realty.