The all boy Freeport-based Catholic school, De La Salle School, welcomed Geraldo Rivera, journalist and talk show host, for its annual Christmas Luncheon held on Dec. 6 at the Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Harbor.
The De La Salle School is a private school that offers at-risk Latino and African American boys an education that touches on academics, arts, and culture intertwined with the Catholic faith, prayer and gospel values while providing services for families and communities in need.
Annually, because the school is private and receives no federal or state aid, the school has to raise approximately $900,000, according to Mike Moriarty chairman of the De La Salle School Board. However, due to extensive support from members of the greater Long Island community like — Freeport, Garden City, Hempstead, Rockville Centre, Uniondale, “No student is turned away for lack of finances,” William Gault, executive director of De La Salle said.
Moriarty credits the support of local donors and alumni that allow the school to provide financial aid to students in need. The luncheon raises approximately $30,000 each year.
“Events like this bring people together,” Moriarty said. “It’s all about educating young, disadvantaged boys so that they have endless opportunities to perform well in life.”
During the luncheon, attendees were seen trying on fur coats, entering raffles while enjoying a leisurely lunch amongst colleagues, friends and students. Rivera’s attendance also included an in-depth discussion about his new book, “The Geraldo Rivera Show,” which details his reporting from war zones throughout the years. Rivera talked with the De La Salle boys about his experiences. With a smile, Rivera said he personally identified with the students at De La Salle School and recalls of his teenage years in West Babylon.
“I identify with the kids from De La Salle School,” he said. “It’s so wonderful to see how they flourish in an environment like their school and it’s [just as] important to contribute to our communities.”