Byron Simmons knows the sensation of having adrenaline pumping through his veins.
A few hours before the New Community 2017 Spring Festival and Auction, Simmons, a senior at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and a member of the track team, blazed through two races—the 400 meter and 800 meter.
Next year when he starts college, Simmons said he plans to continue running track while keeping up his academic track record as well—a foundation that he says was set by the Monsignor William J. Linder Scholarship.
“This scholarship gave me a chance to not be a statistic,” Simmons said. Having traded his track uniform from earlier in the day for a crisp lavender dress shirt, Simmons shared with more than 200 guests gathered at St. Joseph Plaza for the annual fundraising event how the scholarship fund allowed him to attend St. Benedict’s. It was at the school, located in Newark less than a mile from New Community, where Simmons said he gained leadership skills, took advantage of extracurricular activities and now, in his fourth year, has options to attend either the University of New Haven or North Carolina A&T State University in the fall.
“All this wouldn’t be possible without Monsignor Linder,” said Simmons, who was accompanied by his family at the event.
Simmons’ story highlighted the impact of the Monsignor Linder Scholarship Fund, which has raised support for inner city high school students for more than 30 years, according to Edgar Nemorin, master of ceremonies at Spring Festival and a member of the board of directors at New Community.
“Because of the vision and leadership of Monsignor Linder and a host of past and current donors, we have given children a chance. A chance to achieve, a chance to reach their highest potential, a chance to use their God-given talent for good and excellence,” Nemorin said.
The evening affair included a dinner buffet, cash bar, deejay music and dancing.
Many guests, employee, seniors and other attendees won exciting prizes such as an iPhone 7 and Coach bag.
Timothy Montgomery, the superintendent at New Community Associates, won $350 from the 50/50 cash raffle.
On behalf of the planning committee, thank you to all those who attended Spring Festival, sponsored tables, purchased raffle tickets and supported the scholarship fund!