Jon Stewart, host of the upcoming Apple TV+ series, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” will be the guest host for Lunch Break’s Annual Gala “We Rise Together: Restoring and Rebuilding Lives” on Friday, October 15th, 2021 at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank. This year’s honorees include such philanthropic and distinguished community leaders as Lunch Break Advisory Council Member Carol Stillwell, President and CEO of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., Norma Todd Service Award; former Lunch Break Board President John Klein and his wife, Board Member Robin Klein, Heart to Hand Award; and Guttenplan’s Frozen Dough, A Child’s Place School, Lincroft, and Abe and Linda Littenberg, Corporate Platinum Partner Award.
“We are looking forward to this year’s Gala with great excitement,” says Executive Director Gwendolyn Love. “We are thrilled to have Jon Stewart as our host and are excited to have the Count Basie Center for the Arts as our venue. I couldn’t be more proud of our honorees, who exemplify Lunch Break’s mission in their lives and work every day.”
The evening, which takes place from 6:30-11 p.m., will feature dinner, dancing, entertainment, raffles and an auction of premium items. Tickets are $400 per person; seating is limited. Sponsorship, ads and underwriting opportunities also are available. Proceeds will benefit Lunch Break’s mission of providing food security and social services, clothing, fellowship and life skills to those struggling with financial burdens in Monmouth County and beyond.
John and Robin Klein, Heart to Hand Award
John and Robin Klein, of Middletown, a mission-driven couple whose compassion knows no bounds, began volunteering and supporting Lunch Break as newcomers to the Red Bank area. “Being involved with Lunch Break and meeting the amazing people of this community was a driving force in making this our forever home.”
John, a real estate developer, joined the Board of Trustees in 2014 and served as Board President from 2017 to 2020. John now serves on the Advisory Council. Robin, founder and President of Fashion Retail Group, a boutique real estate firm, joined the Board in 2020; she and John also are co-chairs of the Capital Campaign.
Their voluntarism and philanthropy doesn’t end there.
John is a founding Board Member of Parents With A Plan, a foundation working to create solutions for the growing housing and services shortage for neurodiverse adults. Robin, also a founding Board Member of Parents With A Plan, serves on the Executive Board of Trustees for the Count Basie Center for the Arts, as well as the Riverview Medical Center Foundation Board.
Their humanitarian work extends far beyond our area, as supporters of the Ubumwe Community Center and School in Rwanda. They share a passion for protecting and rescuing animals, especially those on the brink of extinction, as well as for the welfare of imperiled domestic animals.
Carol Stillwell, President and CEO of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., Norma Todd Service Award
Carol Stillwell’s life and career have been a story of hard-driving, visionary business leadership and tireless devotion to critical social and health-care causes. Beginning as a secretary in the air-conditioning company founded by her late husband, Gordon, in the 1960s in the family’s converted garage, Carol became president and CEO of Stillwell-Hansen in the ’90s. She helped transform a once-humble small business into a multi-faceted enterprise that provides New Jersey manufacturing clients with data services, tech, hardware and safety training.
In tandem with her dynamic business career, Carol has become a most familiar and acclaimed charitable donor and volunteer, affiliated with a wide array of causes. Carol is a member of Lunch Break’s Advisory Council among others, and her efforts recently have benefitted 180 Turning Lives Around, the American Cancer Society, CASA of Monmouth County, Family Promise, Fulfill, Monmouth County SPCA, Hometown Heroes and key charitable foundations of major local hospitals and colleges, and of course, Lunch Break. Deeply touched by the many awards she has received for her charity work, Carol’s greatest satisfaction is in the difference the work makes in the lives of the many families these organizations serve.
Guttenplan’s Frozen Dough, A Child’s Place School, Lincroft, and Abe and Linda Littenberg, Corporate Platinum Partner Award
Linda and Abe Littenberg, heads of a robust local family and long-time early childhood educational advocates, are stalwart Lunch Break volunteers, delivering meals to people in need every week.
After graduating engineering school as a young man, Abe joined the family business, Guttenplan’s, and with his cousin transformed the Long Branch bakery into a booming frozen dough supplier that serves restaurants, supermarkets and small bakeries nationwide.
Linda, a high-school teacher who was born into a family of educators, became intrigued by the promise of early childhood schooling when her son Matt was enrolled in A Child’s Place School in Lincroft. When school founder Alba DiBello retired, the Littenbergs bought the school, which is devoted to nourishing young imaginations on the concept that “Children Are Born Curious”. Ardent Lunch Break volunteers and donors for more than two decades, the Littenbergs also help lead the organization, with Abe serving on the Advisory Council and Capital Campaign Construction Committee, and Linda as a member of the Development Committee.
For everyone’s safety, we are requiring attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test 48 hours prior to the event. Proof of vaccination or test results should be emailed to email@example.com. For further information, contact Development Manager Jill Govel-Gwydir at (732) 747-8577, Ext. 3107, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch Break accepts donations online at www.lunchbreak.org or at its headquarters, 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd. in Red Bank. Follow Lunch Break on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.
Cover photo: Lunch Break Board of Trustees: (back row from left) Michael Wright; Stephen Reinhard; Kevin Chieff; Richard Brodsky; President Phil Antoon. Front row: Juanita Lewis; Robin Klein; Vice President Mimi Keenan; Tina Pflaster; Josephine Guttadauro; and Trudy Parton.