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Norwalk's Carver Center Embraces $500,000 Boost To Create Technology Center

Mark Feinberg holds up the $472,000 check that he donated to the George Washington Carver Center on behalf of his late aunt Charlotte Naomi Horblit. The money will be used to create the Charlotte Naomi Horblit Technology Center at the facility. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling speaking at the ceremony Thursday where $500,000 was donated to the George Washington Carver Center to create a new technology center. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The Carver Center received a $500,000 donation Thursday. Pictured from left are: Richard Whitcomb, member of the Carver Center board of directors; Mark Feinberg, donor; and Novelette Peterkin, Carver Center's executive director. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

NORWALK, Conn. -- A summer job teaching science at the George Washington Caver Community Center more than 30 years ago turned into a $500,000 donation for the Norwalk center.

In a ceremony Thursday morning, Mark Feinberg handed a check for $472,000 to the center. It came from the estate of his late aunt, Charlotte Naomi Horblit. The $28,000 balance came from an anonymous donation.

More than 30 years ago while he was a Brien McMahon High School freshman, Feinberg was tapped by his science teacher and football coach, the late Richard Fuller, to teach science as a camp counselor at the Carver Center. Fuller was the center's executive director. 

"I realized he was trying to be a mentor for me and it had a lasting impact on me," Feinberg said.

Born and raised in Norwalk, Feinberg ultimately graduated from St. Luke's School in New Canaan and went on to have a 21-year career as a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch after graduating from Boston University. He now lives in Ashland, Mass.

In her will, Horblit gave Feinberg the role of naming seven charitable beneficiaries of her estate. Influenced by his summer camp counselor job three decades ago, Feinberg chose the Carver Center as one of the seven.

Carver Center Executive Director Novelette Peterkin was told by Feinberg three years ago that the center was in his aunt's will. She was pleased about that but had no idea how much money it would be.

"I thought it would be $50,000 at most or something, and then he told me it was going to be $375,000, I was like in shock and then it was $470,000," a pleased Peterkin said after the ceremony.

The money will be used to create a state of the art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education lab on the Carver Center's second floor. The tech center will include iMac computers, a 3D printer and 3D scanner and video conferencing software to support learning.

The Carver Center is the largest provider of after-school programs for middle and high school students in Norwalk.

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