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Suspended NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams made a rare public appearance over the weekend, attending a gala to raise money to keep his New Jersey alma mater, Mater Dei Prep, from closing.
Williams donated $50,000 during Saturday night’s Save the Seraphs Gala at Shore Casino in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, the Asbury Park Press reported.
Williams spoke about the school at the event.
“This is Mater Dei. It’s been a very, very important part of my life. I had four great years here. I did not know it then, but it was the last degree I’d ever earn,” he said, according to local paper The Two River Times. “It’s a wonderful school, and it should be open for a long time, for everybody.”
Prior to his suspension, after news of Mater Dei’s potential closure broke, Williams told the Asbury Park Press he would be “highly interested in any attempt to save this great Monmouth County institution.”
The embattled anchor also received support at the gala.
“He was greeted with warm hugs,” fundraiser co-chair Maria Buzzanco told The Two River Times. “Everyone was telling him how much they support him as well and thanked him for coming.”
Williams and his wife, Jane, attended the event, which raised $95,000 for the Seraph’s Fund, bringing the fundraising campaign’s total to $962,000.
The school has to raise $1 million from supporters by April to keep it from closing.
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