(7/18/2008) When Pope Noell, a 20-year artist of Montauk, dreamed about building a school for children in Nicaragua, he never dreamed it could become a reality. But with some financial help from an artist friend, Frank Roccanova of Amagansett, and much dogged determination, he saw his dream come true when the school opened this past February.
On July 12, thanks to more support from their fellow artists of East Hampton, Noell and Roccanova managed to raise almost $40,000 at a benefit for Una Escuelita, a school for children that teaches subjects through the use of art.
"For roughly the same cost as a private high school in the Hamptons, $18,000 a year, we can send 30-45 kids to Escuelita for a year," said Noell. "After opening this school last year, we had no idea how many kids were going to come, so we needed this extra funding to stay open."