Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children raises $300,000 at annual gala

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children raised $300,000 — which is $50,000 more than its target goal — to fund partial tuition assistance scholarships for underprivileged students attending Archdiocese of Newark schools at its annual gala in West Orange’s Pleasantdale Chateau on Nov. 11.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, archbishop of Newark, and nearly 300 guests attended the gala, which was hosted by television journalist Marsha MacCallum. This year, SFIC recognized three honorees for their commitment to education: Kathleen M. Boozang, dean and professor of law at Seton Hall University School of Law; the Opici family, noted winemakers and distributors; and the Rev. Msgr. Robert E. Harahan, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Short Hills and former Seton Hall Prep headmaster. Additionally, a silent auction netted $35,000 for the fund.

Many SFIC scholarship recipients also attended, including students from St. Joseph the Carpenter School in Roselle, who joined guests at their tables to discuss their educational experiences. This year’s student speaker, Sean Bragdon, shared how his SFIC scholarship helped his single mother send him to Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange when she was already working four jobs to pay bills.

“These scholarships make a big difference in students’ lives,” SFIC CEO Michelle Hartman said. “They give the opportunity to have a really solid education and bright future. Education is power. It opens doors for kids who wouldn’t necessarily have doors opened for them otherwise. And we’re very grateful for all our honorees, board members and donors who make these scholarships possible.”

To learn more about SFIC and its scholarships, visit

Photos Courtesy of Neil van Neikerk/SFIC