NY/NJ Chapter Celebrates 30th Annual Holiday Gala
Generous Donations from Members and Sponsors Benefit Area Youngsters through the Toys for Tots and KIPP:NJ Programs
ARTICLE AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LAUWE - META4 COMMUNICATIONS
Many thanks to the Members, sponsors and guests that attended the Chapter’s 30th Annual Holiday Celebration on December 6, 2022. The gala event was celebrated at Il Villagio in Carlstadt, NJ after being held for more than 20 years at the Fiesta in nearby Wood-Ridge. More than 100 Members and guests enjoyed a festive evening while continuing the Chapter’s tradition of donating a bounty of unwrapped toys for distribution to area children through the Toys for Tots and KIPP:NJ programs.
Several hundred toys were donated at this years’ event. Through the Members’ generosity, the Chapter has been able to distribute more than 6,000 toys to local charities over the past 29 years! The Chapter was also able to provide a sizeable donation to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Totowa, NJ from the proceeds of a 50/50 raffle and donations from sponsors.
The evening began with a festive cocktail reception featuring an open bar and an endless variety of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres. Members were able to share a social Holiday gathering for only the second year following the pandemic. Members were then seated in the elegant and spacious main dining room to enjoy a splendid full course dinner featuring choice cuts of beef or chicken, seafood, pasta, and salad.
Grace Cruz-Beyer, Chapter Past President and “Queen of Christmas”, began the evening’s program by welcoming Members, guests, and sponsors before leading the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. A solemn invocation was offered by Chapter Past President Maureen Kalena. A representative from KIPP:NJ sincerely thanked each of the Members and sponsors for their generous support that will make this year especially joyful for area children. Chapter President Angelo DiCaro addressed the Membership to give thanks for carrying on the rich tradition of the Holiday Gala as well as the support to the needy that the event offers. Grace completed the formal program by introducing more than 20 Chapter Past Presidents which has become a grand tradition of the Holiday event each year!
Sponsors and Members alike posed for photos in front of a magnificent Sponsorship banner complete with red carpet to honor the banks and vendors whose generous contributions made this gala event possible. Be sure to view the complete slide deck of banner photos below!
The night was capped off when Santa made his grand entrance! While everyone enjoyed dessert and coffee, Santa visited every table and joined the ladies on the dance floor. Of course, he eagerly posed for memorable photos with virtually everyone to provide Holiday cheer for all!
Be sure to view the photo galleries below to relive the event as captured by the Chapter's roving photographer.
Select a photo below to view the photo gallery in a slideshow format.
Chapter Past Presidents Joe Coccaro(l.) and Steve Fusco
Chapter Treasurer Joe Murphy and Vice President Francesca Sgambellone greeted Members and Guests at the registration table
18 Chapter Past Presidents pose for group photo!
(l.-r.) Chapter Secretary Andrey Dragun, Treasurer Joe Murphy, Vice President Francesca Sgambellone and President Angelo DiCaro
Visit from Santa