State Theatre New Jersey Benefit Gala Raises Over $500,000

Posted on Categories Member News, Non-Profit

On May 12, 2018 the State Theatre New Jersey Benefit
Gala, featuring Grammy Award®-winning band Kool & The Gang, raised over $500,000 for the not-for-profit performing arts center. Proceeds from the Benefit Gala support State Theatre New Jersey’s acclaimed artistic and educational programs.

This year’s Benefit Gala featured a performance by the band Kool & The Gang, who have influenced the music of three generations and with over 70 million albums sold worldwide their funk and jazz arrangements have made them one of the most sampled bands of all time. The band performed hits such as “Too Hot,” “Ladies Night,” and “Celebration.

“We were thrilled to have a Grammy Award®-winning band from New Jersey as our Benefit Gala performer this year,” commented State Theatre New Jersey Gala Co-Chairs John Fitzgerald and John Reissner. “It was a remarkable evening in support of the State Theatre’s mission of providing arts education programs to inform and build future audiences. We want to
say thank you to the Gala Committee, Board, staff, and volunteers for their extraordinary dedication in making this event one to remember!”

The State Theatre 2018 Benefit Gala recognized three honorees this year—Corporate honoree, Bank of America; Patron honorees, Douglas and Diane Garback of The Garback Agency; and Leadership in the Arts honorees, Betty Wold Johnson.

The attendees at the Black-Tie Dinner Dance at New Brunswick’s The Heldrich Hotel included community, arts, business, and civic leaders from central New Jersey and around the state. In addition to the concert, Gala festivities included a dinner reception, a silent auction with over 70 items, open bars, Viennese dessert buffets, dancing, and live music provided by the band Jersey Joint.

The State Theatre 2018 Benefit Gala committee included (Vice-Chair of the State Theatre New Jersey Board of Trustees, Gala Co-Chair) John S. Fitzgerald of Dunellen; (Gala Co-Chair) John Reissner of Tinton Falls; (Gala Vice-Chair) Linda Piscadlo of Somerset; (Trustee, Gala Vice Chair) Matt Taylor of Marlboro; (Gala Vice-Chair) Tracy Taylor of Marlboro; (Trustee, Corporate Co-Chair, American Benefits Consulting) Craig J. Guiffre of Scotch Plains; (Corporate Co-Chair, MetLife) Timothy J. Brown of Flanders; Dee Abedradoh of Kendall Park; Tina Ahmadi of Matawan; Lisa Berlin of Highland Park; Hiam Boraie of Milltown; Cathy Gombas of East Brunswick; Eileen Harkins of New Brunswick; (Trustee) Bill Herman of Clifton; (Trustee) Gurdon Hornor of Belle Mead; Heather Hornor of Belle Mead; Gabriel Lavigne of Colts Neck; Richard T. McDonald of Millstone Township; Donna Miyamoto of Whitehouse Station; Salvatore Romano of Somerset; and Maggie Stavrianidis of Somerset.

The Emerald Gala Sponsors included: American Benefits Consulting, Johnson & Johnson, and MetLife.

The Diamond Gala Sponsors included: Aetna; Bob and Joan Campbell; and Alma Scott.

Platinum Partners included: Bank of America; Magyar Bank; and Prudential.

About State Theatre New Jersey
The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through arts education. State Theatre New Jersey’s programs are made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund. United is the official airline of the State Theatre.

Creating Extraordinary Experiences Through the Power of Live Performance
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New Brunswick, NJ 08901
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Please contact Kelly Blithe at
732-247-7200, ext. 542 or by email at
Information in this release is current as of May 16, 2018.
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