The PAWS Foundation recently held its annual Gala at Captain Bill’s Bayview House.

Each year, the group honors West Islip community member and a West Islip educator for outstanding contributions to the community.

This year, PAWS (Partners Advancing West Islip Students) honored Jeanne Dowling, West Islip School District’s director of special education, and John Raimondi, the owner of Our Little Italy pizzeria.

The Gala was a sold-out. It served not only to honor these two individuals, but to raise money to fund exciting education initiatives for West Islip students.

Below are 20 photos from GreaterBayShore.com contributor Jennifer Mercurio of Lasting Impressions Photography in downtown Bay Shore. Tap the 2, 3 and 4 boxes to view them all.

Visit Jennifer Mercurio’s blog for her latest coverage.

Jeanne Dowling (center), West Islip School District’s director of special education, accepting her recognition.

John Raimondi (left), the owner of Our Little Italy pizzeria is recognized for his service to the community.