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Pocketbook Bingo Night Raises $3,000 for RCC Student Veterans

Pocketbook Bingo Night Raises $3,000 for RCC Student Veterans

(l-r) Janine Paredes, Bursar's Office, RCC Veterans Affairs Coordinator Jonathan Barnwell, Leo Laders Post 130 commander Don Joachim and RCC Academic Advisement/Student Development Lisa Jacobsen

Proceeds to benefit college's Veterans Lounge

DATE: November 16, 2018

RAMAPO, N.Y. – More than $3,000 was generated for Rockland Community College's student veterans at a Pocketbook Bingo fundraiser held October 4 at Lynch's Restaurant in Stony Point, NY. A check was presented to RCC Coordinator of Veterans Affairs Jonathan Barnwell at a ceremony October 31 in RCC's Battle Buddy Center/Veterans Lounge, the beneficiary of the proceeds.

“The fundraiser is critical to the long-term success of the veterans lounge, as I have no specific budget for the supplies that are needed, such as coffee, tea, printers, computers and other items,” Barnwell said. “All the funds to support the veterans lounge have to be raised separately.”

Designer bags from such well-known brands as Coach, Kate Spade and Michael Kors were the bingo prizes at the fundraiser, which drew 105 attendees who were treated to a full buffet meal for a nominal cost courtesy of Lynch's owner Kevin Lynch. Leo Laders American Legion Post 130 of Thiells, NY, under Commander Don Joachim, provided advance funding for the purchase of the designer pocketbooks. Gift cards and certificates were also raffled off and awarded as door prizes.

Lisa Jacobson of RCC's Advisement/Student Development Center and Janine Paredes of the Bursar's office coordinated the fundraiser. Jacobson conceived the idea for the Pocketbook Bingo as a way to assist RCC's student veterans. She is chairperson of the Laders post's women's committee and is friends with post member Yolanda Lopez, whose son, Army Cpl. Manny Lopez, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade while serving in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2005. He was 20 years old. The American Legion Post in Haverstraw, NY, now bears his name – Harold B. Holt/Manny Lopez Post 46.

“I am thankful for what our veterans do for us and our country. I have a son exactly Manny's age and could not imagine my life without him,” said Jacobson, a 25-year RCC employee. “For the veteran, I say 'thank you' for bravely doing what you're called to do, so we can safely do what we're free to do.”

For more information on RCC's programs for veterans, contact Jonathan Barnwell at or 845-574-4105 or visit

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CONTACT: Strategic Marketing