Ahmed Bendary’s Service Honored At Buckley Gala

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Buckley Country Day School held its 14th Annual Gala. The event—chaired by Deborah and Richard DeVerna—celebrated Buckley’s 95th anniversary and recognized honoree Ahmed Bendary for his 15 years of steadfast and dedicated service as a member of Buckley’s Board of Trustees, for his unwavering commitment to the school, students, faculty and staff, and for the many generous contributions he and his wife Bouchra have made to Buckley over the past 18 years. The Bendary’s have graduated four children from Buckley: Rani ’09, Samer ’11, Nour ’13, and Yara ’18.
Exemplifing the spirit of giving that has served Buckley for close to a century, the Bendary’s are one of the most philanthropic families in the Buckley Country Day School’s history. The entire school community was excited to show its appreciation and gratitude for their legacy.
The pièce de résistance of the evening was undoubtedly the moving tribute that Rani paid to his father and delivered with genuine passion and eloquence. Rani began by sharing the experience of his first day in kindergarten when he would not get out of the car and his mother had to drive him back home. He went on to speak about a conversation he then had with his father about the feelings he experienced, the challenges he faced, and the opportunities he saw when he immigrated to the United States, at the time an unfamiliar country for him. Rani spoke about the literal and metaphoric anchor that Ahmed liked to jump in, at the tug-of-war on Field Day and for the Buckley community, stating, “Regardless of Red or Blue victory, it is the entire Buckley community that has won. Dad, I know I speak on behalf of the other 200 members of your Buckley family sitting in this room tonight when I say that we are incredibly blessed and lucky to have had you serve as our anchor. Thank you for never shying away from the challenge, and for being the bravest Bulldog there is.”
Rani closed his speech reflecting on his second day of school and concluded, “All I can say is that I am very glad I decided to get out of the car on the second day of school. In 18 years, Buckley has welcomed us with wider arms and more genuine love than we could have asked for.”
The generous contributions made by the Buckley community to the 2018 Spring Gala have been earmarked to the school’s Endowment Fund.
“As a trustee, Ahmed spoke up about three topics that he most cared about: the safety and well-being of our students, the safety and well-being of their teachers, and the state of our facilities,” said Buckley Headmaster Dr. Jean-Marc Juhel. “As a Buckley Trustee, Ahmed was always first and foremost a child and teacher advocate. There couldn’t be a more deserving man on this occasion to whom we would want to show our gratitude and appreciation than you.”
The event recognized the hard work and dedication of the Buckley Development team—Marjorie Jean-Paul, Stephanie Long, and Holly Mascolo—Director of Communications Brett Topel as well as the 2018 Spring Gala Committee for all the work and energy they put into making this a successful milestone event for the school.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

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