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Local HS gets big donation in honor of famous alum
Posted: Jan 09, 2014 11:40 AM CST
By: Melissa Randall
On Thursday morning Nicaury Nunez performed on the same stage where her idol, Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis, first learned her craft. The auditorium of Central Falls High holds a lot of memories for the famous alumna and two time Tony Award winner who is giving back to the school in a big way.
"Actually it's pretty amazing. You wouldn't think that a superstar like that would help a small school," said Nunez, a member of the Thespian Society.
The entertainment industry foundation donated $60,000 in Davis' name to two of her favorite clubs. The chess team and the Thespian Society will each receive $30,000.
"She will never forget where she came from. It's a part of who she is. It's a part of her story, and it is also a part of mine," said Deloris Grant, Davis' sister.
Grant is a teacher at the school and says the actress wants to help the chess team afford trips to big matches, and allow the aspiring performers to see a Broadway show in New York City.
Viola wanted to be at the announcement, but she is in California working on a new movie telling the story of James Brown.
Having the support of a Hollywood star is an inspiration to chess player Cameron Pita. He says the money allows the nationally ranked team to continue to compete in tournaments outside of Rhode Island giving them an opportunity to change people's perception of the small town.
"If people were to come here and see what we actually do we would get a better rap," said Pita.
The donation is the second in a week made in Davis' name. The Segue Institute of Learning also received 30,000 from the entertainers' foundation.