NY/NJ Chapter Celebrates 29th 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 and Sponsors that attended the Chapter’s 29th Annual Holiday Celebration held at the Fiesta in Wood-Ridge, NJ on December 7, 2021. Despite the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, 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.

More than 150 toys were donated at this years’ event. The Chapter has been able to distribute more than 6,000 toys to local charities over the past 28 years! In addition, the Chapter provided a donation of $1,000 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 the first time in more than two years! Members were seated in the main dining room to enjoy a splendid buffet dinner with choice cuts of beef and chicken, seafood, pasta and salads.

 

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. Chapter President Suny Mellawa sincerely thanked each of the Members and sponsors for their generous support that will make this year especially joyful for area children. Immediate Past President Amy Wheatley then offered a champagne toast to wish everyone a safe and joyful Holiday season and a prosperous new year! The formal program would not have been complete without Grace introducing more than a dozen Chapter Past Presidents.

The Cindi Rand Band provided an entire evening of musical entertainment in a “live” karaoke format. Bankers, staff, and guests joined the band to sing a mixture of traditional holiday songs and classic rock and country hits.

 

While everyone enjoyed selections from the gourmet dessert bar, Santa made his grand entrance! Santa eagerly posed for memorable photos 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 larger format.

Cocktail Reception

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Holiday Program

Flowers for Emily!
Flowers for Emily!

Emily Wheatley happily accepts the bouquet of flowers from her Mom!

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2021-2022 Chapter Officers
2021-2022 Chapter Officers

The 2021-2022 Chapter Officers pose before the installation ceremony (i.-r.): Vice President Angelo DiCaro, Treasurer Francesca Sgambellone, Immediate Past President Amy Wheatley, President Suny Mellawa, and Secretary Joseph Murphy.

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Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance

Chapter Officers, Members and guests recite the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation during the Installation ceremony.

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1/21

Holiday Celebration

Flowers for Emily!
Flowers for Emily!

Emily Wheatley happily accepts the bouquet of flowers from her Mom!

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2021-2022 Chapter Officers
2021-2022 Chapter Officers

The 2021-2022 Chapter Officers pose before the installation ceremony (i.-r.): Vice President Angelo DiCaro, Treasurer Francesca Sgambellone, Immediate Past President Amy Wheatley, President Suny Mellawa, and Secretary Joseph Murphy.

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Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance

Chapter Officers, Members and guests recite the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation during the Installation ceremony.

press to zoom
1/21

Visit from Santa

Flowers for Emily!
Flowers for Emily!

Emily Wheatley happily accepts the bouquet of flowers from her Mom!

press to zoom
2021-2022 Chapter Officers
2021-2022 Chapter Officers

The 2021-2022 Chapter Officers pose before the installation ceremony (i.-r.): Vice President Angelo DiCaro, Treasurer Francesca Sgambellone, Immediate Past President Amy Wheatley, President Suny Mellawa, and Secretary Joseph Murphy.

press to zoom
Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance

Chapter Officers, Members and guests recite the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation during the Installation ceremony.

press to zoom
1/21

Event Sponsors

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Live Music Sponsors

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