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Chapter Members Celebrate 31st Annual Holiday Gala

Community Children Benefit Through the Generous Donations from Members and Sponsors

ARTICLE AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LAUWE - META4 COMMUNICATIONS

 

The Chapter’s Holiday celebration was once again a very successful and enjoyable event for the large delegation of Chapter Members, special guests, Chapter Past Presidents and sponsors who made this event possible. Perhaps the greatest joy was experienced by community children who were the recipients of hundreds of toys donated by those in attendance. The event continued the Chapter’s long tradition of donating unwrapped toys for distribution to area children through the Toys for Tots and KIPP:NJ programs. The Chapter has been able to distribute more than 6,500 toys to local charities over the past 30 years!

The gala event was celebrated at Il Villagio in Carlstadt, NJ on December 6, 2023. This marks the second year the event was celebrated there after being held for more than 20 years at the Fiesta in nearby Wood-Ridge. Members enjoyed a festive cocktail reception spread over two elegant rooms featuring separate open bars and endless selections of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres. Members were able to relax with colleagues before enjoying a full-course dinner featuring salad, a pasta appetizer, seafood and chicken topped off with an elegant dessert served in the spacious main dining room.

 

Chapter Past President, Grace Cruz-Beyer began the evening’s program by welcoming Members, guests, and sponsors before leading the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. Chapter Past President Maureen Kalena then offered a solemn invocation to offer thanks to the Members and Sponsors that has made this event so successful. A representative from KIPP:NJ sincerely thanked everyone for their generous gifts that will once again make this year especially joyful for area children. Chapter President Francesca Sgambellone offered sincere thanks to the Members and sponsors for extending the rich tradition of support to the needy that has made this event so special. The formal program concluded with the introduction of more than 20 Chapter Past Presidents lead by Grace Cruz-Beyer the “Queen of Christmas”!

 

For the second year, Sponsors for the gala event were saluted by a large Step and Repeat banner that featured the logo of each Sponsor. This gave each sponsor the opportunity to step in front of the banner for a photo. The opportunity was repeated for each sponsor while standing on the red carpet.

 

The night would not have been complete without Santa making his grand entrance!, Santa visited every table and joined the ladies on the dance floor. Santa 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 our roving photographer.

Photo Galleries

Select a photo below to view the photo gallery in a slideshow format.

Cocktail Reception

Holiday Program

Sponsors/Toys for Tots

Visit from Santa

Event Sponsors

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