BSF Updates

BSF Announces New Board Members & Fundraising Campaign

By Deirdre Doheny, Board Member, Bronxville School Foundation 


The Bronxville School Foundation is set to launch its fall fundraising campaign and is happy to announce the addition of seven new board members as well as a new slate of officers for the 2022-2023 school year.


Since its inception, the nonprofit organization has given more than $12 million in grants to the Bronxville School to enhance the quality of education in the district. The BSF has funded new curriculum, technology, faculty training, facilities projects, and special materials and equipment. Last year the Foundation provided $507,000 in support through their grant program. 


The Foundation actively engages with the district to identify high priority needs that are beyond what the school’s budget is able to cover. Each year, it relies on the fall campaign to help fund these critical grants. The generous support received from alumni, Bronxville community members, school families, and matching corporate gifts through the fall fundraising campaign enables the Foundation to fund grants that fill the gap between what the school budget provides and what a transformative education demands. This year, the Foundation’s goal is to get 100% participation in the fundraising campaign from Bronxville School families.


Please consider a gift to the Foundation this year. 


The Foundation is delighted to welcome our newest board members.   "Our new board members are exceptionally talented and committed individuals who bring a breadth of valuable experience to the Foundation,” said Nominating Chair, Rob Crystal. "We are confident that they will make significant contributions to our school and the Foundation's initiatives. We are fortunate to have them join our board."


Alex Bici


Originally from Garden City, L.I., Alex graduated from Colby College and received an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at NYU. Alex has spent his entire 28-year career at Deutsche Bank (formerly Bankers Trust), holding various positions in investment banking, fixed income research and sales and trading.  He currently runs the leveraged loan and high yield bond sales desks.  He also serves as his class gift chair for Colby's class of 1994.  Alex and his wife Danielle moved to Bronxville in 2013 and have two children in the Bronxville School, one in the middle school and one in the high school.


Michael Brandes (ex-officio member, School Board representative)  


Michael received a BA in English Literature from the University at Albany and attended Columbia University School of the Arts before completing an MBA at Columbia Business School. He established Brandes Capital LLC in 2019 after nearly 30 years on Wall Street, most recently as Chief Investment Strategist & Head of Research for the international private bank at Itaú Unibanco. Prior to Itaú, Michael was Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income Strategy at Citigroup, and sat on the Investment Policy Committees for both Citi and Morgan Stanley. Michael and his wife, Nadine, have been residents since 2012 and have two children attending The Bronxville School. He is currently vice-president of the Bronxville School Board of Education.


Dave Lewis


Dave graduated from Emory University and holds law degrees from the University of Maryland and New York University. He is currently a tax partner at Allen & Overy LLP and serves as the managing partner of the New York office. Dave, his wife Robin and their three children moved to Bronxville in 2016 and are all active members of the community. Two of those children currently attend the Bronxville School, while the third is a recent graduate (2021).


Carrie Long


Carrie received her B.S in Biology from Yale University.  After her undergraduate degree, Carrie completed a yearlong program at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and received her degree in Culinary Arts. She then went on to receive her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital/Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and was chosen to serve as Chief Resident. Carrie then completed a 1-year research fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. She joined Manhattan Pediatrics, a private practice on the Upper East Side affiliated with Columbia and Cornell’s Medical Colleges in 2010. She and her husband Jeff Greenfield moved to Bronxville in 2012.  Carrie has served as a 3-year board member and past president of the Lawrence Park Hilltop association. Jeff and Carrie have 4 boys who attend all three Bronxville Schools.


Katrina Nay (ex-officio member, PTA Representative) 


Katrina received a BA in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and an MSW from Columbia University.  After working in direct practice for several years, she transitioned to working in development for organizations focused on children and education.  Her volunteer interests include alumni engagement for Vanderbilt University, serving as an evaluator for The Community Fund, and a variety of roles within the Bronxville School PTA.  Katrina and her husband, Chris, moved to Bronxville in 2013 and have two children at The Bronxville School.


Mary Preusse


Mary received an AB in Mathematics from Bowdoin College and is a member of Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees. She is the lead independent director of Kimco Realty and serves on the boards of three other public companies:  Digital Realty, Host Hotels and Resorts, and Realty Income. She is also a senior advisor to Fifth Wall, the venture capital firm. Prior to her current work as board director and advisor, Mary served as Managing Director and Head of Americas Listed Real Estate at APG Asset Management US, one of the largest institutional real estate platforms in the world. Mary has volunteered in a variety of roles at the Bronxville School including class parent, grade chair, and coordinating Senior Shadowing. Mary and her husband Charles have lived in Bronxville since 1996. All three of their children have attended the Bronxville School, and one is a current student.


Catherine O’Connor Williams


Catherine is a proud alumna of The Bronxville School who, along with her five siblings, attended grades K-12 at the school. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English and received her MBA from Columbia University. Catherine began her career in San Francisco working in Merchandising for both the Gap and Old Navy brands; after business school in New York, she held various retail-related roles, including Consulting and Merchandising positions (most recently with Tommy Hilfiger). Catherine and her husband, Matt, returned to Bronxville prior the birth of their second child in 2012, and she has been actively involved with numerous local organizations, including The Lawrence Hospital, The Reformed Church Nursery School (including as a Board Member) and The Bronxville School. Along with her family, Catherine is also involved with two global health relief service non-profit organizations, Partners in Health and Catholic Relief Services. Catherine is the proud Mom to five children, three boys who are current students at the school (rising 6th, 5th and 3rd graders), and twin girls who are very excited to join them in kindergarten next year.

Photo courtesy of Bronxville School Foundation. (L to R): Dave Lewis, Katrina Nay, Carrie Long, Mary Preusse, Catherine O'Connor Williams, and Michael Brandes.

Helena McSherryBSF Announces New Board Members & Fundraising Campaign
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It’s likely safe to say that high school students who spend the better part of their week in classrooms and navigating the hallways give little thought to their surroundings and the history of the building. This weekend, however, eight Bronxville High School students took on the special role of conducting tours of the school for dozens of alumni from the classes of ‘70 to ‘02, who were celebrating their respective reunions throughout the weekend. In addition to alumni, Remy Bhatia, Rachel Conniff, Drew Doyle, Ted Heraty, Aarna Pal-Yadav, Remi Mellinghoff, Natalia Metzger, and Tony Tao-Guerrero led several groups of parents and grandparents of alumni and current students, former faculty, and community members through the original and newest parts of the building. The event was organized by the Bronxville School Foundation as part of the Centennial celebration on Saturday September 24th.  

As the student tour guides walked through the halls, they spoke about The Bronxville Promise as a way to explain to their participants how the Promise informed some of the significant changes to the building, such as the flexible learning spaces, the Innovation Center, and Bronco TV’s studio. Classmates from ‘79 and ‘80, Mary Taylor Behrens and Helen Knapp remarked on the newly designed spaces in the school, “A lot has changed, the school has clearly evolved through innovation.” Of particular interest to many on the tour were the two fifth grade classrooms on the fourth floor, which used to be called Gwinn Hall, home to seventh and eighth grade classrooms and a performance space, as well as the former girl’s gym which is now the orchestra room. The Library, Meadow Atrium and Cafeteria also made significant impressions on the attendees. 

As they led their groups up and down the stairs of the connected buildings, the students spoke of community-based projects such as the Bronx River Research program and the composting program in partnership with The Greenburgh Nature Center as examples of learning opportunities in the school. Both initiatives started with Foundation grants.

For student guide Remi Mellinghoff, the tour was made extra special because her former Kindergarten teacher Mary Ellen Mullen was in her group. “ I was so excited to see her. I have such fond memories of my kindergarten year and having her as my teacher. Ms. Mullen now has two grandchildren in the school,” said Remi. Natalia Metzger, also a student guide, enjoyed hearing the alumni’s stories about some of their high school classes, “I found it hard to imagine that they had a typing class because we use computers in every single one of our classes today. Typing is just second nature.” Remi added, “And [they had] a card catalog system in the library.” 

Many of the innovation initiatives and advancements that were highlighted during the tour were made possible by the Bronxville School Foundation’s grants program that is funded by donations from alumni and the school and village community. This includes new flexible furniture and technology in classrooms, Bronco TV studio equipment, the Design & Innovation Center, to name a few. This year, the Foundation and the PTA partnered to fund an outdoor classroom project as a Centennial gift to the school, with construction planned for the summer of 2023. Evan Haynes (class of ‘70) lives in Maine and was here to celebrate his reunion over the weekend, “This is my third time back to visit the school. There have been so many changes. The resources available to these students are remarkable. The Bronxville School is always changing and evolving, yet the community remains as supportive as ever.” Relatedly, Remi shared her reflection on the day, “It makes me wonder what The Bronxville School will look like when we come back years from now.”
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BSF Awards over $500K in Grants this Year

By Deirdre Doheny, VP, Public Relations, The Bronxville School Foundation

June 29, 2022:  The Bronxville School Foundation announced its 2022 grant awards, giving $507,446.72 to benefit the Bronxville School’s K-12 student body.

The Foundation was pleased to be able to consider grant requests from teachers, administrators, coaches, parents, and students.  These grants continue to reflect the school’s work toward creating a sustainable model of excellence, aligned with the district’s goals of delivering the best possible curriculum and instruction, integrating new technologies, and providing improvements to school facilities and equipment that best support the current and future learning needs of students.

After careful consideration from the grants committee and the board of directors, grants were awarded to all areas of the building, which will enhance The Bronxville School by providing exciting new resources, training, technology and wellness programs to students, faculty, and administrators.

This year the Foundation was able to partner with the PTA to fund 2 outdoor learning spaces which will be utilized by the Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.

Wendy Fahy, the Foundation’s vice president of grants, said, “The Foundation board continues to be humbled by the generosity of the community.  Our school administrators, teachers, and students developed thoughtful and innovative grant requests for resources needed to adapt to the changing learning needs throughout the year: academically, athletically, and artistically. The Foundation assessed and approved the funding of critical off cycle and end-of-year grant requests. These grants allowed for the continued innovation of academic and extra-curricular programming.  This year’s grant requests included opportunities to reflect on lessons learned during the pandemic, to maximize the functionality of our indoor and outdoor learning spaces, and to offer continued professional development for our faculty. Thank you to the community for enabling the Foundation to be a valuable resource to the Bronxville School.”

Foundation chair Rob Crystal added, “The Foundation is grateful to the Bronxville community for their generous and continued support.   Thank you to every teacher, administrator, parent, and student who brought their ideas to The Foundation. We are so fortunate to have such a strong community that works together to help our exceptional school.”

The Bronxville School Foundation depends upon contributions from school families and the community. If you would like to learn more about the Foundation, please contact the Foundation’s executive director, Helena McSherry, at 914-395-0515 or visit the Foundation’s website at

The following is a complete list of the approved grants for the 2021-2022 school year:

Program and Curriculum Development:

National History Day Research Post-Pandemic

Chamber Music Coaching Sessions II

Artificial Intelligence Course for High School Students

International Thespian Troupe III

Bronxville Promise Presentations: Public Speaking Exercise

“Design Thinking” Sessions – Scaling Up ES Pandemic Innovations

“Design Thinking” Sessions – Building Middle School Identity

TV Studio Maintenance & Equipment

Orton Gillingham Reading Training

“We Write to Arrive at Ourselves and Each Other” Conference

Facilities, Equipment, and Technology:

The Crucible – Outdoor Sound Assistance

FrontRow Juno Audio Systems for Middle & High Schools

Treadmill for Life Skills Class

Steinway Piano Refurbishment

GPS Watches for Track

Basketball Backboard System for Gymnasiums

Picnic Tables for Elementary School

Technology Curriculum Updates for Elementary School

End Zone Cameras

Counseling Department – College Kickstart

Flexible Furniture for ES Art Rooms & Science Labs

Outdoor Classrooms

Decodable Texts for ES Reading Instruction

Sensory Bins for ES

Photo: Ms. Westerheim practices reading skills with her first-grade students.

Helena McSherryBSF Awards over $500K in Grants this Year
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Students Receive N.Y.S. Seal of Biliteracy

Nineteen Bronxville High School seniors have earned the prestigious New York State Seal of Biliteracy. The distinction is given to graduating seniors who have demonstrated proficiency in both English and another language.

“By offering this opportunity at Bronxville, our goal is to recognize the advanced language work that students are already doing in their English and world language classes,” said Denise Flood, a Latin teacher and curriculum leader.

As part of the culminating project, the students were required to prepare extensive portfolios, which included examples of their student work, personal reflections, tests, essays and travel diaries, among others. They were also interviewed by a panel of judges to demonstrate their language proficiency. By earning the seal, the students have shown a high level of proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.

The students who earned the seal on their diplomas are Kelly Baclija (Latin), Spencer Blumenreich (Latin), Elizabeth Brennan (Spanish), Elizabeth Burnell (French), Rory Denning (Latin), Ali Dotson (Latin), Erin Foley (French), Patrick Greatrex (Latin), Avery Jones (Spanish and Russian), Bethany Lee (French), Teresa Markola (Latin and Spanish), Donna Napolitano (Spanish), Nadia Newton (Spanish), Matthew Rodriguez (Spanish), Will Stupart (Latin), Fiona Vail (French), Alice Vranka (Latin), Isaiah Weir (Latin) and Patrick Wu (Latin).

The Seal of Biliteracy panel consisted of Flood, French teacher Toby Gillen, Spanish teacher Denise Napolitano, English teacher Robert Cross, Principal Ann Meyer, Director of Guidance Aaron Kind and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Mara Koetke.

Over the last two years, Flood, Gillen, and Napolitano assembled a cohort of students called the World Language Fellows to work toward this goal. The Foundation supported the work of the World Language Fellows through a grant.

Helena McSherryStudents Receive N.Y.S. Seal of Biliteracy
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Third Graders Code Active Games for Younger Students

Third graders – who coded active video games in technology specialist Claire Hollocou’s class – engaged second graders to play their original games. During the collaboration, the younger students stepped on squares that changed colors and sounds as part of games that either had a countdown, kept score or interacted with other players.

“Teaching the games to the younger students helped the third graders practice public speaking, communicate themselves clearly and model appropriate behavior,” Hollocou said. “It was awesome to see their ability to try out ideas and change them along the way as needed. Not only were they applying their coding knowledge to a new, more complicated platform, but they were also using design thinking strategies to stay flexible and problem solve.”

For their project, the third graders observed the second graders play games using the Unruly Splats, a learning tool that combines coding games for kids with active play, to note what kept them engaged and active. Then, they came up with their own game ideas and coded the program on Unruly Splats before encouraging the second graders to try out a beta version of their games.

The Unruly Splats technology is courtesy of a grant from the Bronxville School Foundation.

“Third graders ideated and coded games that would get younger students to move their bodies as they played,” Hollocou said. “Students needed to use and build their understanding of conditionals, loops, variables and user-generated input to code these games.”

Hollocou said the students developed their critical thinking and leadership skills while also solving problems and making necessary adjustments to their games. In addition, she said the students took a skill they felt confident in and passed it along to their younger peers.

Helena McSherryThird Graders Code Active Games for Younger Students
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BHS Orchestra Groups Perform at Regional Concert; Foundation Grant Supports Advanced Coaching

By Katie Shah, Public Relations, Bronxville School Foundation

Two Bronxville High School chamber music ensembles were selected to perform at the prestigious Westchester-Hudson Valley-Connecticut Chamber Music Society concert on March 3rd at Hoff-Barthelson Music School. Student performers included Ian GegenwarthSimos DimasAndrew Jensen, and Patrick Wu (The Mendelssohn Group), and Remi MellinghoffSaya MuellerRia Mueller, and Andrew Jensen (The Borodin Group). Both ensembles are now in consideration to perform at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center as a part of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society’s Young Musicians Program.

Last spring, the Bronxville School Foundation awarded a grant to the high school orchestra program to fund 10 advanced coaching sessions in the 2021-22 school year on topics including intonation, harmony, communication with other players, and concert performance techniques. The grant was designed to help Bronxville students prepare for the CMS Young Musicians Program.

High school chamber music ensembles were invited to submit applications through their school music department to be considered for participation. 

“The grant was really important for the orchestra program because it gave us a chance to try a different style of classical music,” said 11th grade violinist Saya Mueller. “One of the biggest takeaways for me was learning how to weave melodies and harmonies together in a four-person group. The coaches taught us to play with expression without overshadowing each other.”

“Congratulations to the musicians and thank you to the Foundation for support as we continue the journey,” said orchestra teacher Wyeth Tvenge. “Although it is a huge honor for the Bronxville orchestra students to be considered, they have earned it.”

Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has awarded more than $11.5 million in grants that focus on piloting new programs, pursuing creative ideas, and providing equipment and facilities in the areas of science, arts, athletics, technology, and curriculum development. 

Helena McSherryBHS Orchestra Groups Perform at Regional Concert; Foundation Grant Supports Advanced Coaching
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Science Olympiad Students Earn Medals at Competition

A group of Bronxville Middle School students participated in the Lower Hudson Valley Middle School Regional Competition for Science Olympiad on March 5 at Scarsdale Middle School. They competed against students from across the region and earned medals in several building and study events.

Jean Windels, science teacher and the team’s adviser, said her students have been preparing for the competition since October. Ahead of time, they built and tested their devices and studied for the paper and pencil tests. 

“I’m very proud of this team,” Windels said. “They learned new skills, including Tinkercad, sawing, using a drill, measuring accurately, as well as designing, evaluating and modifying their designs and testing, testing, testing, all within a very specific set of rules. We also managed to have fun at the same time.” 

A total of 28 teams competed in 20 different science events, which included five building events: a balsa wood bridge, an electric motor balsa wood plane, bottle rocket, trebuchet and mousetrap vehicle. The students were also tested on different topics, including anatomy and physiology, ecology, physics, experimental design and the solar system.

•    Sixth graders Hunter Malpass and Zeke Malpass earned medals for their mousetrap vehicle, as well as in the “Write-it/Do-it” challenge, for which Hunter wrote directions to build an object and Zeke had to use the directions to build it.
•    Sixth graders Ainslea Hong and Teddy White earned a medal for their balsa wood plane.
•    Sixth graders Carter Blumenreich and Matthew Moore earned medals for their mousetrap vehicle and their balsa wood bridge. 
•    Seventh graders Kendall Valente and Ava Toolan earned a medal in the “Green Generations” study event, which tested their knowledge of ecology.
•    Eighth grader Jack Goddard competed in the “Crave the Wave” study event.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Bronxville School Foundation, the students used a 3D printer to design and build the chassis for their mousetrap vehicle. This vehicle was powered entirely with a mousetrap pulling a string off the axle. The car was required to move forward 1 meter, reverse direction and travel 4 meters in the other direction.

The balsa wood bridge was tested by determining the maximum amount of mass it could hold. The electric motor balsa wood plane was tested for the longest time it could spend in the air. The bottle rocket, which launched with a ping pong ball attached to a parachute, aimed to have the longest travel time. The trebuchet, which launched a racquetball and a tennis ball with very specific counterweights, aimed to get the ball into a five-gallon bucket.

Helena McSherryScience Olympiad Students Earn Medals at Competition
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Students Guide Robots Through Mazes Using iPads from Foundation Grant

Students from Melissa Wood’s class practiced their computer programming skills as part of a hands-on activity with technology specialist Claire Hollocou.

During the lesson, the students created mazes by strategically placing colorful tiles on the floor. Then, they completed their maze, one step at a time, before solving their peers’ mazes. After creating and completing multiple mazes throughout the lesson, the students worked on their iPad to guide a robot, named Dash, through their maze.

“The students tracked both their finger’s motion on the iPad and the robot to make sure they were making it go in the right direction,” Hollocou said. “Students have been using coding as a fun way to practice skills they can apply to all parts of their day. It is wonderful to see students feel successful and have fun, especially knowing that all the while they are working on important skills.”

Hollocou said the students have been working on creating and following algorithms, and the activity helped support their ability to comprehend and follow multistep directions. 

“My hope is that students leave the class having increased their capabilities and self-confidence,” she said.

The student iPads are courtesy of a Foundation grant.

Helena McSherryStudents Guide Robots Through Mazes Using iPads from Foundation Grant
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The Bronxville School Foundation Announces 2022 Grant Cycle; Deadline of February 28

By Deirdre Doheny, Public Relations, VP, Bronxville School Foundation

Feb. 2, 2022: The Bronxville School Foundation is pleased to announce that its 2022 grant cycle is underway. Faculty, administrators, staff, students, parents, and community members are invited to submit grant applications.

The Foundation is eager to support grant requests that enable students to lead, to innovate, to engage the world, and to think critically, particularly during these uniquely challenging times. The deadline for grant applications is February 28, 2022.

The Foundation’s mission is to raise community funds in order to provide resources beyond the district’s budget across Bronxville’s Elementary, Middle and High Schools. Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has awarded more than $11.5 million in grants that focus on piloting new programs, pursuing creative ideas, and providing equipment and facilities in the areas of science, arts, athletics, technology, and curriculum development.

“For 30 years, the Bronxville School Foundation has partnered with educators, students, parents, and the community to build a solid infrastructure of innovative programming, equipment, and technology,” said Wendy Fahy, V.P. of the Grants Program.  “This year’s significant challenges have provided an opportunity to capitalize on the learning of this past year and advance it to the next level. The Foundation continues to be immensely impressed by and grateful for the administration, faculty, and staff as they have continued to rise to the many challenges of these unprecedented times. We at the Foundation are looking forward to continuing to work with the school to fund grant applications in technology, academics, the arts, athletics and student support services, in order to enhance the experience of all Bronxville students.”

For further information or inquiries, please contact vice president of grants, Wendy Fahy, at, or the Foundation’s executive director, Helena McSherry, at

Helena McSherryThe Bronxville School Foundation Announces 2022 Grant Cycle; Deadline of February 28
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Bronxville School Foundation Accepting Nominations for Board of Directors

By Nancy Marshall, Board Member Bronxville School Foundation 

Jan. 26, 2022: The Bronxville School Foundation will accept nominations through February 4, 2022, to fill open positions on its Board of Directors for the upcoming year.

Candidates are village residents who would work with current board members to raise funds and support grants that will enhance educational programs in the Bronxville School district.

Senior citizens, parents of current students and graduates, alumni, and community members without children are encouraged to express interest. The directors reflect a broad and diverse cross-section of the community.

The Foundation was established as a nonprofit in 1991 by the Trustees of the Bronxville School Board of Education, citizens in the community, and supporters of the school who understood that raising private funds from school families and village residents to supplement the district’s budget was important to maintaining excellence at the Bronxville School.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors consists of thirty people, including one member of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools, and the Vice President of the PTA.

The primary role of the Foundation’s Nominating Committee is to identify motivated, hard-working leaders for possible nomination to the Bronxville School Foundation. The Committee considers recommendations from within the board itself as well as from individuals who express interest through the Foundation office.

To express your interest, propose candidates, or learn more about the Foundation, please contact Executive Director Helena McSherry at 914-395-0515 or via email at Written correspondence should be forwarded to Helena’s attention at The Bronxville School Foundation, 177 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, New York, 10708, and include specific information about involvement in the community and the school. Other details regarding background or relevant experience should also be included.

Helena McSherryBronxville School Foundation Accepting Nominations for Board of Directors
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