First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Robin Fabricatore of Toms River Intermediate North High School

Press Release


(L to R: Toms River Board of Ed Member – Christopher Raimann, Principal at Toms River North – Lynn Fronczak, Guidance Counselor at Toms River North – Robin Fabricatore, Business Development Director at First Financial – Matthew Brazinski, and Toms River Board of Ed Member – Joe Nardini)

WALL, N.J. – Toms River Intermediate North High School guidance counselor and anti-bullying specialist, Robin Fabricatore, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Ms. Fabricatore submitted a grant application to assist with the events that are run by the Interact Club in her school – a Rotary International service club with 97 participating students. The grant money will be used to help with the group’s future community outreach efforts. They plan to purchase plastic containers for each homeroom (56 total) to collect aluminum can tabs to be donated to the Long Branch Ronald McDonald House. They also plan to purchase supplies to make holiday cards for the nursing home/homebound elderly. The club also wishes to buy a color ink cartridge to allow students to make flyers and posters brighter and more noticeable. Lastly, any money remaining will be used to purchase two large plastic containers and cellophane to make gift auction baskets for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Dr. Seuss stickers for the Read Across America event.

“Our main goals as Interact members are to make new friends, improve the community, develop leadership skills and make a difference in the world,” said Fabricatore. “Intermediate North has an awesome group of Interact students that are eager to help our community.”

Since First Financial began with a group of Asbury Park schoolteachers back in 1936, the credit union has not forgotten its educational roots. That is why its Foundation offered current Monmouth and Ocean County educators six (6) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

“Education has and always will be a pivotal piece of our organization, and we’re delighted to be able to help our local educators enhance their classroom experience,” noted First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Stephan also noted that the Foundation committee had a tough job of choosing just six winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received dozens of heartening essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as purchasing basic skills materials for struggling students, funding a thanksgiving feast for the less fortunate, integrating digital voice recorders for students to practice second languages, new tables for a classroom, iPads, updated software, and pencil grips for students in pre-K through 2nd grade – to name a few,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the six classrooms in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

About the First Financial Foundation: Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit

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