Annual Gala Honors Long-standing FCS Board Members and Community Leaders
LONG BRANCH, NJ, November 9, 2011 – More than 200 friends, family and supporters of Family & Children’s Service (FCS), Monmouth County’s oldest non-profit agency, braved the early winter snowstorm Saturday, October 29, to dine and dance the night away at the FCS’s annual fall gala “Under a Tuscan Moon” at Deal Golf & Country Club, raising $128,000 for the century-old agency. The annual event, the largest fundraiser of the year, supports FCS’s wide array of programs and services including child literacy, Medicare assistance, home health care and adult protective services.
“It was a wonderful evening!” FCS Board member and Gala Co-Chair Susan Sorokolit exclaimed. “To see so many of our friends and family come out in spite of the nasty winter weather and lend their support to the agency was truly heartwarming.”
Susan and Gala co-chair Patty DeFabio, along with members of the 2011 Gala committee, spent a full year planning and carrying out the event, which included a five-course gourmet Tuscan meal, dancing to the music of the band Paris, a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction that featured nearly 100 items for bid, including original oil paintings, fine jewelry, and luxury vacation packages. The committee incorporated the Tuscan theme throughout, from the urns of sunflowers and fruit that filled the rooms, generously donated by Entertain with Jane, Rumson and Barlow’s Flowers, Sea Girt, to the Tuscan wine bar and Italian folk guitarist who provided entertainment during the cocktail hour. Everything was designed to provide guests a “Buona Sera.”
“So much goes into creating a successful fundraising event,” said FCS President & CEO Vincent D’Elia. “Patty and Susan, along with their committee of dedicated volunteers, worked tirelessly to ensure an enjoyable evening for everyone involved. We are extremely grateful to them for helping to make the event such a tremendous success!”
This year during the Gala, the agency also honored two long-standing members of the FCS Board of Directors, B.J. Thompson of Fair Haven and Lee Weber of Shrewsbury with the agency’s Lifetime Service Award. B.J., who has served on the FCS board for 43 years, was elected in 1968 and served as its president from 1989 to 1990. Lee was elected to the FCS board in 1964 and has served the agency in some capacity for 47 years, including board president from 1987-1988. The two women also were presented with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition and named “President Emeritus” of the FCS Board.
FCS also honored its long-standing community partner, Rumson Country Day School with the agency’s Community Service Award. For more than a dozen years, RCDS students, with the full support of parents, school faculty and administration, collected an untold number of toys, games, clothing, winter coats and books for FCS’s annual holiday giving program, Operation Sleighbells. In 2010 alone, students fulfilled the holiday wishes of more than 450 children, or nearly 20 percent of all the gifts donated to the drive.
As guests departed for the evening, they took home an 80-page ad journal filled with beautiful photographs of FCS family & friends taken by Hartshorn Portraiture which donated their services for the ads. Guests were also treated to a small loaf of Tuscan bread, courtesy Panera Bread, a welcome party favor on a cold and blustery evening.
To view photos from the event, click here