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Alec Fitzgerald & Brandon Ahmed square off in a 175-pound bout later in the evening

 

The College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) hosted a record-setting “Friday Night at the Fights” fundraiser to benefit the CMC Scholarship Fund. On Friday, February 2nd, a sold-out crowd of more than 245 attendees assembled at the Kenilworth Veterans Center to watch 10 amateur bouts refereed by officials of the New Jersey Association of USA Boxing. The evening generated gross proceeds of more than $68,500 for the club’s scholarship fund from ticket sales, a 50/50 raffle, and sponsorships by three local businesses. The 2024 event’s results exceeded all previous years’ gross and net totals.

CMC President Dave Germond shared that “We are energized watching these talented young athletes demonstrate their skill and training for such a worthy cause as expanding access to higher education”. Germond further noted that “the CMC is extremely grateful to our Platinum Sponsor, Ray Catena Mercedes Benz of Union and our two Gold Sponsors, Rumble Boxing of Westfield and The Isoldi Collection, for their generous support of this annual event, the CMC’s largest fundraiser.”

This year’s event marked the culmination of Shawn Hanna’s 15-year tenure as CMC Boxing Chairman. Hanna has led the event since 2009 and will hand over the reins to fellow CMC Trustee Pat Quay. “Shawn has done a tremendous job in elevating this event to our premier fundraiser and quite frankly, created a “must-attend” evening for sports fans across Union County. Pat has a tremendous foundation on which to build thanks to Shawn’s dedicated efforts”, Germond added.

The evening showcased 10 action-packed bouts spanning the 132-pound up to 180- pound weight classes. Boxers assembled at the Kenilworth VFW representing gyms from across the Tri-State Area, including Wolf’s Den Boxing, Enforcer Fitness, Semper Fit Boxing Club, Park Elite, Perth Amboy PAL, True Warriors Boxing, Lyndhurst Boxing Gym, and Dover Boxing/Parsippany PAL.

In a surprise appearance, professional boxing champion and NJ native, Bobby Czyz, joined the event to cheer on the competitors. Czyz posted an impressive 44-8 career record and held the IBF light heavyweight title, the WBA cruiserweight title, and in the final bout of his distinguished career, fought Olympic Medalist and professional boxing legend Evander Holyfield.

College Men’s Club of Westfield honored its current scholarship recipients with a holiday reception at Echo Lake Country Club. Standing left to right is CMC Scholarship Committee Chair Ryan Clark, Andrew Principato, Antonio Carrero, Gabriel Dayon, Juan Diego Lara, Matt Meixner, CMC President David Germond, Sean Marner, and Brigham Luna Santamaria.

CMC’s Annual Scholarship Recipients Holiday Reception – December 20, 2023:

On December 20 th , the College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) held its annual holiday reception at Echo Lake Country Club to honor its current four-year scholarship recipients. Also in attendance were the scholar’s families, members of the CMC, and the CMC Board of Trustees.

During this final event of the CMC’s 101st year, all the scholarship winners from WHS classes of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 were introduced by Ryan Clark, CMC Scholarship Committee Chair and presented with their Spring Semester scholarship checks. Each of the students in attendance shared updates on their academic and career progress with the group. Dave Germond, CMC President, stated that “the holiday reception is the capstone of each year for the CMC as we get to learn about our twelve CMC Scholars’ latest achievements.”

The CMC of Westfield staffed a table at Westfield High School’s 2024 College Fair held on Thursday, November 16th. This annual event was held at Westfield High School, 550 Dorian Road. Students and parents stopped by our table to learn more about our annual scholarship program which awards up to three $24,000 four-year scholarships. At the College Fair CMC Trustees distributed materials and answered question about the club and how to apply for our 2024 scholarships.

On June 28 th , the College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) held a reception at Echo Lake Country Club to honor the four 2023 recipients of the club’s four-year college scholarships. Ryan Clark, CMC Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, introduced this year’s scholarship winners and stated that “this year’s scholarship program was the most competitive in recent memory and our recipients were selected based on their academic achievement, community involvement, career direction and financial need.” The four young men graduated from Westfield High School as members of the Class of 2023 and
include:

Gabriel Dayon who plans to study Sports Communication at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

Brigham Luna Santamaria who will attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He plans to major in Public Health, laying the foundation for a career in medicine.

Juan-Diego Lara who will attend the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois this Fall. He plans to study Political Science and Economics, with a long-term goal of attending law school.

Damian Rusek who will attend Kean University in Union, New Jersey this Fall where he plans to study Computer Science. He intends to pursue a career in cyber security.

During the reception scholarship recipients from previous Westfield High School graduating classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 shared updates on their academic and career progress.

This year’s recipient of the College Men’s Club of Westfield’s (CMC) award for the malegraduating senior earning the highest GPA at Westfield High School (WHS) is Cooper DelGandio. In the Fall Cooper will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he plans to study Mechanical Engineering with an eye towards a career in engineering and technology.

Dave Germond, CMC President, stated that “the CMC is pleased to continue its more than two-decade tradition of honoring academic excellence at WHS and collaborating with the College Woman’s Club of Westfield which grants an identical award to the female graduate with the highest GPA.”

Cooper received the CMC’s $500 award for academic excellence at the Westfield High School graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 21st. While at WHS, Cooper played on the varsity soccer team, served as Vice President of the 3D Printing Club and as Treasurer of the Science Olympiad. His academic honors include earning a perfect score of 800 on the Math SAT, receiving the AP Calculus and the AP Physics Awards, and being a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.

The College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) has awarded a record $74,000 in scholarships and grants to six young men from Westfield High School in the Class of 2023 to help them pursue their college education. David Germond, CMC President, explained that “the recipients were selected based on an assessment of their academic achievement, community involvement, career direction, and financial need.”

Andy O’Brien, CMC Scholarship Co-Chair, noted that “this was an extremely competitive year for the CMC scholarship program with the largest group of highly qualified applicants in recent memory.” The six awardees from the WHS class of 2023 Include:

Gabriel Dayon was awarded a four-year, $24,000 College Men’s Club of Westfield Scholarship. Gabriel plans to study Sports Communication at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

Brigham Luna Santamaria was awarded a four-year, $24,000 College Men’s Club of Westfield Scholarship.  Brigham will attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He plans to major in Public Health, laying the foundation for a career in medicine.

Juan-Diego Lara was awarded a four-year, $12,000 College Men’s Club of Westfield Scholarship. Juan-Diego will attend the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois this Fall. He plans to study Political Science and Economics, with a long-term goal of attending law school.

Damian Rusek was awarded a four-year, $12,000 College Men’s Club of Westfield Scholarship. Damian will attend Kean University in Union, New Jersey this Fall where he plans to study Computer Science. He intends to pursue a career in cyber security.

Derek Lam was awarded a one-year, $1,000 College Men’s Club of Westfield Service Academy Uniform Grant.  Derek will be attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, where he plans to study Logistics Management. He intends to pursue a career in public service.

Evan Leone was awarded a one-year, $1,000 College Men’s Club of Westfield Hertell Arts Grant.  Evan will be attending Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, where he plans to study Musical Theater. He hopes to pursue a career in acting.

The CMC will hold a reception to honor this year’s recipients in late June at Echo Lake Country Club. During the reception the 2023 recipients will be presented with their scholarships and previous awardees from Westfield High School classes of 2022, 2021 and 2020 will share updates on their academic and career progress.

After a 3-year hiatus due to COVID, the College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) held a record-setting “Friday Night at the Fights” fundraiser to benefit the CMC Scholarship Fund. On Friday, February 10th, a sold-out crowd of more than 260 attendees assembled at the Kenilworth Veterans Center to watch 11 amateur bouts refereed by officials of the NJ Association of USA Boxing. The evening generated gross proceeds of more than $63,000 for the club’s scholarship fund from ticket sales, a 50/50 raffle, a live auction, and sponsorships by two local businesses. These results vastly exceeded all previous years’ totals.

CMC President Dave Germond noted that, "the CMC is thrilled to see return of this long-standing fan favorite event, which has traditionally been a critical element of our annual fundraising”. Germond further highlighted that “the CMC is extremely grateful to our Platinum Sponsor, Ray Catena Mercedes Benz of Union and our Gold Sponsor, Rumble Boxing of Westfield for their generous support.”

Also in attendance was Gerry Cooney, professional boxing legend, multiple-time Heavyweight contender, and Fanwood resident who donated for auction a boxing glove autographed by himself and former world Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. The signed glove raised $2,300 during the live auction. The CMC also announced it will be donating to New Jersey Give a Kid a Dream, an organization led by NJ Boxing Hall of Famer, Jackie Atkins which provides school support, counseling and nutrition for kids in economically challenged communities   “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Jackie Atkins. We have been working together for almost 15 years and our collaboration is a force for good across the community” remarked Shawn Hanna, CMC Boxing Chair and past President.

Some highlights from the 11 bouts held that evening include in the 114-lb weight class, Jessica Herrera, ranked #2 nationally, prevailed over challenger Yasmin Lopez in a three-round decision.  Later in the evening, Jean-Pierre Valencia brought the crowd to its feet with a fusillade of body blows to score a riveting decision over former Golden Gloves champion Abedallah Eliawiah in the 165-lb weight class. “Our Boxing Night is always highly anticipated among our donors, we are thrilled to simultaneously support our scholarship fund and also provide a platform for these young boxers to showcase their skill and hard work and take their boxing careers to the next-level.” Germond continued.

On December 22nd , the College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) held its annual holiday reception at Echo Lake Country Club to honor its current four-year scholarship recipients. Also in attendance were the scholar’s families, members of the CMC, and the CMC Board of Trustees.

During this final event of the CMC’s 100th anniversary year, all the scholarship winners from WHS
classes of 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 were introduced by Ryan Clark, CMC Scholarship Committee
Chair and presented with their Spring Semester scholarship checks. Each of the students in attendance shared updates on their academic and career progress with the group. Dave Germond, CMC President, stated that “the holiday reception is the capstone of each year for the CMC as we get to learn about our 12 scholars’ latest achievements.”

After a 2-year hiatus due to COVID, the College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) held a record-setting Poker Night fundraiser to benefit the CMC Scholarship Fund that more than doubled the results over past years. On Friday, June 17, more than 50 players assembled at the Kenilworth Veterans Center which was transformed into a Poker room with professional dealers to conduct the tournament. The evening generated net proceeds of more than $10,000 for the club’s scholarship fund.

CMC President Dave Germond noted, “The CMC is thrilled to see this turnout in support of our local charity; this was our first in-person event since the onset of the pandemic and we look forward to hosting our next fundraiser early this Fall.”  The tournament was run until there was a declared overall winner and prizes were awarded to the top three finishers. First prize winner of the night was Matthew Meyer, second place went to Alex Watson, and finishing in third place was Scott Gootzheit.

This year’s recipient of the College Men’s Club of Westfield’s (CMC) award for the male graduating senior earning the highest GPA at Westfield High School is Justin Anderson. In the Fall Justin will be attending Princeton University, where he plans to study Operations Research and Financial Engineering with an eye towards a career in finance.

Justin received the CMC’s $500 award for academic excellence at the Westfield High School graduation ceremony on June 23rd. While at WHS, Justin served as President of the Student Government Association and as Secretary General of the Model United Nations. Among his academic honors, he earned a perfect score of 800 on the SAT Math Level 2 subject test.

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