It's not too late to get tickets!
FAMILYConnections will host the eighth Annual International Tasting Gala on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 from 6:30 – 9:00p.m. at Orange Lawn Tennis Club. This year, Assemblywoman of the 27th District, Mila M. Jasey will be honored as the 2012 Champion of the People. The evening will include Special Recognition for the principals of FAMILYConnection's partner schools: Dr. Lovie Lilly of Columbia High School; Jeffrey Truppo of Maplewood Middle; Christopher Jennings of Bloomfield High; Faith Alcantara and Kalisha Morgan of Orange High.
This evening of fine food, wine and music will benefit more than 4,500 children, adults and families in our community with professional therapeutic and skills-building services. The Tasting Gala is among one of the most popular charitable evenings in Essex County. Restaurants include Restaurant Serenade of Chatham, Basilico of Millburn, Fiorino of Summit, Harrar Café of South Orange, and David Ellis Catering of Cedar Knolls – plus many more. This year will feature the second ever basket auction with fabulous items like fine jewelry, dinners-for-two, sports tickets, and once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
In her welcoming remarks in 2011, Executive Director Paula Sabreen said that she’s often asked to define the agency’s mission, which is not easy. “We don’t do just one thing.” When pressed, though, she explains, “We foster resilience,” so local residents who face challenges can meet them and carry on with their lives.
Nigel Greene, a Columbia High School graduate who now works at FAMILYConnections, described himself to the audience last year as an example of the difference the organization makes. After a challenging childhood, Greene found himself getting into trouble in middle and high school. After a devastating death in his family, he found his way to The Loft, the FAMILYConnections base at Columbia High School.
“When a kid doesn’t care,” said Greene, “and has too much pressure, he needs The Loft. One person can make a difference.” Crediting counselors and staff who helped him, Greene said he has proudly become that “one person” for other local kids.
To celebrate good food and good works by purchasing a ticket, contact FAMILYConnections at: www.familyconnectionsnj.org. To recognize Assemblywoman Jasey with a tribute, please call Meagan Khoury at (973) 380-0418.
Enjoy our photos from 2011 as a preview of this year's event.