(Englewood, New Jersey; June 6, 2016)–The Community Chest, a nonprofit organization servicing Englewood, Englewood Cliffs and Tenafly, raised a record-breaking $100,000 at its annual spring gala held at the Knickerbocker Country Club in Tenafly, New Jersey. The funds raised will go toward the organization’s annual campaign to award competitive grants to approximately 25 nonprofit organizations providing services to people in need in the three towns.
“We were delighted to welcome so many guests to our annual gala held at The Knickerbocker Country Club. Through testimonials, entertainment provided by a group of local elementary school children and various fundraising activities, the audience learned about the important work The Community Chest undertakes throughout the year. Our theme, Coming Together as a Community, was communicated through great presenters, who told their stories about how The Community Chest provided them with much needed support,” said Shelly Wimpfheimer, Executive Director, The Community Chest.
Chaired by Barbara Strauss, the annual gala fulfilled the organization’s mission of strengthening the community through philanthropy, partnerships and leadership. The goal was for everyone who attended the annual event to leave knowing more about the organization than before. This year, grants were issued to support a range of needs in the three towns, including hunger, afterschool programming, elderly care, career counseling for women, choral music instruction for youngsters, mental health services, environmental education, and medical care to diabetic, low income pregnant women among other areas.
Several grant recipient representatives spoke, hosted or performed throughout the program. Grantee representatives Amy Sokal, executive director of ArtWorks, and Steve Wiessner, executive director of Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, discussed the issues and needs their organizations address and how The Community Chest’s grants made a difference. ArtWorks received support to help seriously ill children, who are hospitalized at Englewood Hospital, and their siblings with toys and games and Flat Rock Brook Nature Center was awarded funding for environmental education programming. The John Grieco Scholarship Fund’s awardees from Dwight Morrow High School and The Academies of Englewood, who received support to undertake college enrichment opportunities, served as hosts throughout the evening. Under the direction of Emma Brondolo, the Young People’s Chorus at Thurnauer entertained the audience.
The Community Chest honored Joe Klyde, Devry Pazant, and the Alfiero and Lucia Palestroni Foundation with the 2016 Outstanding Community Volunteer award. Klyde, a former board member of The Community Chest’s Board of Managers, was recognized for helping to sustain and grow the organization and being an active member in the Rotary Club of Englewood. Pazant, also a former member of The Community Chest Board of Managers, is president of the Englewood Public School District’s board of education and vice chairman on the board of trustees of the Community Baptist Church in Englewood. The Alfiero and Lucia Palestroni Foundation, represented by Mrs. Palestroni, was honored for the organization’s community involvement for many years with The Community Chest and generosity in the area of health care.
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