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Annual Global Gala Scholarship Fundraiser Will Honor Southern Mass Credit Union as Global Community Partner

giving students the tools to increase their own knowledge of personal finance.

Held each year, the gala is a celebration of the success and advancement of students from GLCPS. The Global Gala will be held on the evening of April 1st in the Harbor Room at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. All proceeds from the celebration will go toward building the school’s college scholarship fund for GLCPS graduates.

"Southern Mass Credit Union exemplifies what being a global community partner is all about," explained Dr. Stephen Furtado, Sr, executive director of GLCPS. "Most of their staff members are involved with promoting financial literacy for young people, which will lead eventually to economic independence for these students wherever they live and work."

Three years ago, SMCU introduced the School Savings Deposit Program to GLCPS. It allows students to open a savings account with SMCU donating $5.00 to every student who opens one. Twice a month, a staff member from SMCU visits the school and is available at every lunch shift for students who wish to make a deposit into their own account or simply learn more about the program.

GLCPS is one of nearly a dozen schools that have been able to partner with SMCU to provide financial literacy and its school savings program to students. Currently, approximately 400 students from ten area schools are in the school savings program.

SMCU has also shared with the school the curriculum of a financial education program that culminates in a CU 4 Reality Fair each year. SMCU staff coordinates the fair, bringing in other local businesses and organizations so students can learn the reality of how much one has to earn to be able to afford rent, food, clothing, and transportation, among other necessities. Since 2013, when SMCU first began sponsoring these fairs, over 1,900 students from five area schools have participated.

GLCPS is one of nearly a dozen schools that have been able to partner with SMCU to provide financial literacy and its school savings program to students. Currently, approximately 400 students from ten area schools are in the school savings program.

Daniel Waltz, president and CEO, and Rose Ferreira, School Student/Youth Services/School Branch Manager, both of Southern Mass Credit Union, will be at the gala accepting the award on behalf of the SMCU.

"Southern Mass Credit Union is extremely honored by this award and wishes to thank GLCPS for this distinct honor,” stated CEO Daniel Waltz. “Our credit union firmly believes teaching schoolchildren and students the importance of learning to save their money through our School Savings Deposit program and how to budget their monthly earnings through the CU 4 Reality™ Financial Education program and fairs. We are committed to helping our school district partners teach their students the importance of financial education, saving and learning how to manage their money wisely."

The importance of community partnerships is emphasized at GLPCS. The Global Gala is one of the ways the school celebrates those partnerships.

"The Global Gala is a highlight of the year for us," said Dr. Stephen Furtado, Sr., executive director of GLCPS. "We enjoy celebrating the hard work and success of our students who will be heading to college in just a few short months. So many individuals, organizations and businesses have supported and continue to support these efforts. This is a way to celebrate students' accomplishments."

Every year, about a dozen students, mainly seniors, take part in the celebration by helping out with registration, greeting guests, and sharing their experiences and college plans. Senior Michael Carvalho says he's looking forward to celebrating at the Gala with his fellow classmates and his parents. "The Global Gala celebrates the school, staff, students and all that contributes to our success," he said. "Representing not only our school but ourselves is one of many steps on the journey ahead."

A number of graduating seniors will receive scholarships of varying amounts from the events' proceeds. Meanwhile, students are weighing their college decisions after receiving acceptance letters from a number of colleges, including Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Tulane University, University of Maine, St. Michael's College, Wheelock College, Stonehill College, Salve Regina, Northeastern University, University of Tampa, and Providence College.

The award-winning GLCPS student Jazz band along with music educator and band director Ian Gollub will provide music for the event. This group of exceptional young musicians will not disappoint. In 2016, they placed first at the Heritage Festival and Competition in Virginia and were also in the lineup at the New Bedford Jazz Festival on the Pier. Playing an assortment of jazz, funk, blues, pop and standards, they regularly perform for private functions and fundraisers.

Guests will also enjoy delicious dishes created by Cotali Mar Restaurant, and will be able to sip on wine and beer provided by Douglas Wine and Spirits. A silent auction and live auction will round out the evening.

This year's lead sponsors are BayCoast Bank; HR Knowledge; and, New Bedford Whaling Museum. Other sponsors include GLCPS Board of Trustees; Joseph Abboud; Sylvia Group of Insurance Agencies; Tremblay's Bus Co; Catholic Financial Life; Lynch, Mallory, Marini, LLC; ServPro Dartmouth; Darn It!; Sodexo School Services; Tom & Liddy Davis; J. Abra Degbor of YourPRcompany.com LLC; Acorn Management, and Poyant Signs.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Individual tickets are $50.00. For more information on purchasing tickets, serving as a sponsor, or providing auction contributions, please contact Lynn Poyant or Christina Rebello at 508-991-4105 or visit the Global Gala website page. All members of the community are invited to attend.