The Newburyport Education Foundation recently announced its 2019 NEF award winners, Jeff Gray, Tim Fountain, and John Galligan of Bradford & Bigelow.

“The Newburyport Education Foundation is only as strong as our board, our volunteers, our business partners and the whole Newburyport community,” said Jed Petty, NEF president, in a press release. “I hope the community will join me and the NEF board to thank and congratulate Jeff Gray, Tim Fountain, and Bradford & Bigelow on the presentation of these well-deserved awards. The city and our school system owes each of them gratitude for their dedication and support of the NEF.”

Jeff Gray – Excellence in Education “Ed” Award

The Excellence in Education “Ed” Award is given to an individual in the community whose leadership, acts and support have raised the level of excellence in Newburyport Public Schools.

Jeff Gray has been an integral part of the NEF as a volunteer, board member and multiyear president. He is responsible for bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars into the organization through his fundraising, chairing the NEF Lighthouse Auction for three years, and bringing the poker tournament and golf tournament to fruition.

He has been as a constant champion for the NEF, recruiting volunteers, collaborating with school administrators, donating and engaging donors.

Tim Fountain – Cindy Johnson Volunteer Award

The Cindy Johnson Volunteer Award is presented to an individual for his/her many devoted volunteer hours to support the foundation, modeling the namesake of this award.

Tim Fountain has been a staple at the NEF Lighthouse Auction and various other events for at least eight years. He has volunteered as a bartender, technology guru, and our emcee for two years. At those two auctions, NEF raised more money than any other, primarily due to his wit and passion for public education. Fountain is also a member of the singing group, The Portermen, who performed locally and donated tips received to the NEF.

John Galligan/Bradford & Bigelow – Business Partner Award

The Business Partner Award is presented to a company that has made particularly noteworthy contributions to the NEF and the Newburyport Public Schools.

Bradford & Bigelow embodies what it means to be a true partner and public school champion, according to the release. The firm has been an integral part of the success of our summer literacy program since 2017, eagerly partnering with us from the beginning.

More than 100 students in grades K-8 participate in this program aimed at preventing or slowing summer learning loss as they are shipped student-selected books over the summer. Bradford & Bigelow not only offered to donate the shipping supplies and postage costs, but also offered to donate their employees’ time to package each shipment.

Bradford & Bigelow is a solid partner, not only as a generous donor, but through educating other companies on our mission and encouraging them to donate. Throughout the COVID-19 epidemic, they have shown what it means to be a good neighbor and leader; they purchase lunches and dinners for all of their team members who have to work in their plant and support local restaurants in doing so. They are also and paying team members an extra $2 an hour.

The NEF Awards Night is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, at Steeple Hall at Mission Oak Grill. As that time nears, NEF leadership will determine if the event can take place. If not, it will be rescheduled at a later date.

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