October Gala raises more than $100,000

Family & Children’s Service Celebrates 104 Years of Service
at “An Evening of Southern Elegance”

October Gala raises more than $100,000 for FCS Programs & Services

Agency Honors Ranney School, Guttenplan Family Foundation & Arlene Lospinoso

LONG BRANCH, NJ, October 18, 2013THANK YOU to the more than 240 friends, family & supporters of Family & Children’s Service (FCS), packed the ballroom of Navesink Country Club, Saturday, October 13th, for the agency’s annual fundraising gala “An Evening of Southern Elegance” celebrating 104 years of service to the community. FCS is Monmouth County’s oldest nonprofit social service agency serving the vulnerable through education, intervention, care and counseling. The event raised more than $100,000 to support FCS and paid tribute to Ranney School, the Guttenplan Family Foundation and former FCS Board President, Arlene Lospinoso. It also served to underscore the agency’s outreach and response in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Gala Committee Chairs  for "An Evening of Southern Elegance"

Gala Committee Chairs Bill and Jill Gemmel, Ed and Patty DeFabio, Susan and Bob Sorokolit and honorary chairs, Debbie and John O’Donoghue

“A year ago, we had no idea of the storm that was to come,” FCS Board Chair Debbie O’Donoghue said as she welcomed guests to the event. “As bad as it was for many in our area, Sandy only worsened the already tenuous lives of our clients. Most had no family or financial resources to help them through the emergency. Fortunately, with the community’s support, we were able to respond with compassion, concern and a renewed commitment to assist the most vulnerable in our area.”

See more photos from “An Evening of Southern Elegance”

FCS Celebrates “An Evening of Southern Elegance”In recognition of that support, FCS Chair-elect Dena Reger presented Ranney School with the agency’s 2013 Community Service Award. The Ranney School Parents Association played a significant role in reviving the agency’s Long Branch Thrift Boutique after flood waters from Sandy destroyed the store’s interior and contents, forcing it to close until repairs could be made.

“When the students and parents at Ranney School learned of our need, they rallied to the rescue,” Reger said. “The Ranney community conducted a school-wide clothing drive to replenish the boutique’s inventory, allowing us to reopen in February and begin generating much-needed revenue for vital agency programs.”

FCS Celebrates “An Evening of Southern Elegance”The agency also presented Patsy and Jack Guttenplan and the Guttenplan Family Foundation with FCS’s 2013 Lifetime Service Award. The family’s century-old company, Guttenplan’s Frozen Dough, has deep roots in Monmouth County. Patsy Guttenplan has served on the FCS Board of Directors and the couple, through their family foundation, has given generously to the agency throughout the years.

“Even last year, when their family home in Little Silver was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy, rendering it uninhabitable, their philanthropic support of the agency continued,” agency CEO Delly Beekman told the gathering.

FCS Celebrates “An Evening of Southern Elegance”The agency also presented a Lifetime Service Award to former FCS Board member and President Arlene Lospino who has volunteered with the agency for more than two decades. Arlene and her husband Maurice initiated FCS’s “Day at the Races” at Monmouth Park and are lifelong supporters of the Monmouth Park Charity Fund, which has provided funding support to FCS for many years. Arlene continues to be a staunch advocate for the agency and the clients it serves.

This year’s Gala committee, led by co-chairs Bill and Jill Gemmel of Middletown, Bob and Susan Sorokolit of Rumson and Edward and Patty DeFabio, also of Rumson, assembled an evening of cocktails, dinner, and dancing. The live and silent auctions of nearly a hundred donated items included catered dinners, tickets to professional sporting events, vacations and even an opportunity for a child to “Be a Rock Star for the Day” at a professional recording studio in NYC. A live auction also helped raise funds towards the purchase of a much-needed new van for the agency.

All proceeds raised during “An Evening of Southern Elegance” will be used to fund critical FCS community-based programs, including intervention services for neglected and exploited adults, home health and respite care for families seeking a way to care for an aging loved one at home, financial management for those with mental and physical challenges, and volunteer services for dozens of local organizations.

Ranney School parents, a 2013 Gala Honoree, enjoy a festive night!

Ranney School parents, a 2013 Gala Honoree, enjoy a festive night!

For more information about Family & Children’s Service or how you could help, contact FCS Director of Development Diane Gribbin at dgribbin@fcsmonmouth.org.