Annual Event


2021 Annual Celebration

Every year, the foundation hosts its annual Celebration Event, a night of recognition for all that our teachers, administrators, and community do to help support education in East Aurora.  This annual event serves as the foundation’s primary annual fundraiser, and is our opportunity to recognize all of the individuals and businesses which have contributed to foundation efforts over the past year.  The event is hallmarked by the prestigious James Ford Commitment to Education Award.  During the past year and a half it became clear that the school district community as well as the greater East Aurora community were deserving of that recognition for their strong partnership during challenging times.  While this year’s choice was a departure from the tradition of choosing an individual, thoughtful consideration makes it clear the Ford Selection Committee made the best choice.

This year’s event looked a little different from past years. It was held at a venue that allowed attendants to celebrate in a safe, open-air environment. The venue as well as the addition of live music by The Young Relics provided a fun atmosphere.  Just under 300 individuals attended the event in support of the East Aurora Educational Foundation and the foundation’s mission to enhance the educational experience of the students in the East Aurora School District. 

We look forward to the 10th Annual Celebration Event.

Thanks to community participation in the PBA Quaker Club Golf Tournament, $4,000 was raised. We are grateful to the PBA Quaker Club for their generous donation to the foundation in support of education.

Office Rick Gottstine (right) and fellow officers presented a check to Betsey Dechert-Boss, EAEF President

James Ford Commitment to
Education Award

Created in memory of one of the founding fathers of the foundation, Dr. James Ford, this prestigious award is presented annually to the person, organization, or group who best exemplifies the following qualities exhibited by Dr. Ford:

  • Commitment to the betterment of education in East Aurora
  • Persistent dedication to the cause
  • Creative and original thinking
  • Involvement in community life

In a community full of selfless individuals committed to the betterment of their community, the Commitment to Education Award is one way the foundation highlights the contributions of those who have dedicated their life to education, and the service of others.

To submit a nomination for James Ford Commitment to Education Award, send letters outlining nominee’s qualities to:
East Aurora Educational Foundation
430 Main Street
East Aurora NY, 14052
Or email to


Past recipients:

2021 – Recognition of the East Aurora School/Community Partnership
2020 – Rich Clements
2019 – Kimberly McAtee
2018 – Peg Fletcher
2017 – Tom Kegler
2016 – Christopher Cummins
2015 – Kim Crowley-Browne
2014 – Alison Hyde
2013 – Dr. James Hoagland, Jr.


Help support the East Aurora Educational Foundation by making a donation today!

Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Event

    The induction into the East Aurora Distinguished Alumni Class of 2020 has been postponed until April 2022.

    Watch our Facebook page for details in the coming months.

    Like the administration of the Keller Memorial Scholarship, the foundation acts in partnership with the school district on the East Aurora Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.  Each year, the East Aurora school district recognizes up to five (5) nominees.

    Eligibility for nomination and selection may include any or all of the following criteria:

    • Excellence in his/her chosen field
    • Outstanding service to his/her community (local, regional or national level)
    • Contributions to humanity (local, regional or national level)

    Commemorative plaques are presented to each honoree and displayed at East Aurora High School.  Inductees are invited to be guests of honor at a special assembly to speak to high school students.

    The selection committee and nomination process are managed by the foundation. Nominations remain in consideration for two years. Candidates will be notified in the fall that they will be receiving the award at the induction ceremony and assembly to be held the following spring.

    Nomination Guidelines: 

    • Anyone may submit a nomination.
    • Nominees must have graduated from East Aurora High School at least ten years prior to their nomination.
    • Nominations may be submitted for posthumous awards.
    • Those currently seeking election to a political office cannot be considered.
    • Nominations must be submitted on the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Nomination Form and may include additional supporting information and materials.  Additional materials will not be returned.
    • Nominations may be submitted at any time.

    2019 inductees pictured left to right: Alexander Persons (great grandson of inductee Richard S. Persons), Rob Shanahan, Dr. Tim O’Connell, Lee Woodruff, Dr. Rhonda Cornum

    East Aurora Educational Foundation
    430 Main Street, East Aurora, NY 14052
    The East Aurora Educational Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization.