Distinguished Highlander Gala Premieres June 4

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baldwin-Whitehall Educational Foundation (BWEF) 80th Anniversary Gala will now be held virtually.

The Distinguished Highlander Hall of Fame Virtual Ceremony will premiere via YouTube on Thursday, June 4, 2020. The ceremony will induct four new members into the Distinguished Highlander Alumni Hall of Fame: Senator Pam Iovino, BHS '74, Regis O'Keefe, MD, PhD, BHS '77, Doug Strott, BHS '83 and Heather Tomko, BHS '06.

District Superintendent Randal Lutz explains, "This event honors the great contributions made by our awardees to our community and celebrates the heart and resilience of the Highlander spirit. Those realities have only been amplified by this pandemic. While we look forward to the time we can again gather in person, we could not let the opportunity pass without a meaningful tribute to these individuals who have made our communities stronger."

Erik Arroyo, president of the Baldwin-Whitehall Educational Foundation, said that while we would have loved to have hosted the gala, a virtual ceremony gives us a triple opportunity: "to celebrate in a creative format that keeps attendees safe, to expand the celebration to those who might not have been able to attend in-person, and to invest more in the community. Funds can now be directed in such a way that supports the mission at the heart of the foundation."

Instead of using proceeds from tickets and sponsorships to help with event costs, BWEF will direct these funds to support the following initiatives:

  • To increase BWEF Annual Scholarships for the Senior Class of 2020.
  • To support a recently created COVID-19 relief fund for BW students and families negatively impacted by the pandemic.
  • To fund the expansion of the Distinguished Highlander Hall of Fame exhibit at Baldwin High School to include the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 and all Champions of Character and Above and Beyond honorees from 2015-2020.