Stars Out at FEF Fundraiser Concert


The Freeport Educational Foundation (FEF) hosted the first Freeport Stars of Today and Tomorrow Benefit Concert, designed to raise funds for the school district. The mission of the foundation is to change the lives of the children of Freeport. The FEF raises funds through alumni- and community-outreach, corporate sponsors and individual donors, and 100 percent of the proceeds are used to provide innovative programs to enhance learning for students and to provide scholarships for graduating seniors.

The evening featured district alumni, current students, staff members and parents of students performing beautiful melodies to the delight of the audience in Freeport High School’s Performing Arts Center. The Master of Ceremonies for the event, News 12 anchor Elizabeth Hashagen, who grew up in Freeport, was joined in the audience by the FEF Board of Directors, school district Board of Education, administrators, staff members, and Village of Freeport trustees. Hashagen said that she is proud to be a product of Freeport, and that the concert is a testament to the school district’s dedication to expanding programs and enriching opportunities for students. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said that fundraising for the FEF would not be possible without the support of the community. He thanked the fundraising committee and expressed gratitude to FEF President Butch Yamali and the FEF Board of Directors.  

“Thank you all for your generosity and your support for the foundation, Freeport Public Schools and our students,” Dr. Kuncham said. “I want to thank everyone who made this evening possible. The power of giving is greater than the joy of receiving, and your contributions continue to demonstrate that. You deserve a round of applause.”

The concert included performances by Class of 2009 chorus standout Joseph Smith; Class of 2008 steel-band arranger and composer Andre White, who performed with four of his former music teachers in the Freeport Public School District; vocalist Carolyn Harding, the parent of a student in the Class of 2019; Class of 2013 musician/actor Nick Ashe, who plays Simba in “The Lion King” on Broadway; Serene Harmonics student singing group; and several other remarkable and talented performers hailing from Freeport.

Examples of projects made possible by FEF fundraising efforts have included work in which students learn coding skills to create, problem solve and develop mental rigor; the construction of a high-altitude balloon which will gather atmospheric data for student analysis and interpretation; Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) projects across the district; and new music and art software on Chromebooks at Columbus. Students at the secondary schools will synthesize and analyze gold nanoparticles using electron scanning microscopy and light scattering equipment at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The foundation has announced the funding of four scholarships for graduating seniors.

The Freeport Stars of Today and Tomorrow FEF benefit concert resulted in more than $20,000 in ticket sales, sponsorships and pledges. The concert served as a testament to the community’s support for the district’s ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance its slate of innovative programs.