Lunch Break Gala

By Tracey Hall ~

The stars aligned last Friday night at the Lunch Break Gala, held at the beautiful Sheraton of Eatontown. Cocktail hour was serenaded by “Iced Water” a talented group of young jazz musicians from the Jazz Arts Academy.

I was so impressed by the outstanding items available by bid and was sure everyone who won would be thrilled.

The main event was held in a beautiful ballroom that was able to hold the 300+ crowd. John Klein started the evening with a heartfelt speech on seeing and fulfilling the need for feeding the hungry.

Next was a beautiful Invocation by Reverend Terrence W Rosheuvel followed by moving statements from Mimi Keenan, Tina Pflaster, Robin Klein and Jermy Grunin.

Gwen Love then took the podium and it was noted how fitting her last name is. She introduced the 2019 Honorees: Ralph and Margaret Mucerino for the Norma Todd Award:

The Count Basie Center’s Arts and Education Outreach for the Heart to Hand Award:

Christopher D. Maher from OceanFirst Bank for the Corporate Platinum Award:

There were two really great performances intertwined in the ceremony, the first by Alejandra Morales and the second by the Basie Acapella Singers. Robin Klein and Jeremy Grunin did a superb job with the direct appeal, raising a nice sum for the programs at Lunch Break.

I left the evening struck by the generosity of the Honorees and all who attended. As they say at Lunch Break, “Help for today, Hope for tomorrow.” I think we all felt hopeful and grateful that evening. 

*Portraits by Kramer Portraits