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The Community Chest’s Gala Draws Record Supporters to Help People in Need in the Region

May 18, 2019 , Luhrs & Associates

Honorees 2019

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (far right) presented The Community Chest’s honorees (left to right) Lori Stokes, Joe Parisi, Jr., and Vicki Sidrow with proclamations recognizing their contributions in the community – Photo credit: Chris Marksbury

(Eastern Bergen County, New Jersey; May 17, 2019) — The Community Chest, a nonprofit organization serving eastern Bergen County, New Jersey, attracted a record number of supporters and raised over $100,000 at the Annual Spring Gala, Make A Difference in Our Community, held at Montammy Golf Club in Alpine, New Jersey on April 25. The funds raised will be directed to the organization’s annual campaign to award competitive grants to 24 nonprofit agencies providing services to approximately 50,000 people in need in the area and for special projects such as the Women’s Leadership Luncheon scholarship awards and the annual holiday gift card program.

With the motto ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’, The Chest leads initiatives and supports nonprofits that make communities stronger and benefit people in the area. Through a competitive grant process, awards are issued to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations to support a range of needs in the area, such as 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 others.

Honorees 2019

The Community Chest’s board of managersPhoto credit: Chris Marksbury

“We were delighted to welcome a record 238 people to our 86th anniversary gala at Montammy Golf Club. With the number of nonprofit organizations submitting requests for support at an all time high, The Community Chest will use the funds raised to respond to their needs. A portion of the funds will provide two scholarships to up-and-coming leaders for high school seniors at our Women’s Leadership Luncheon. The annual gala communicated our message of ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’,” said Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, DSW, Executive Director, The Community Chest.


The gala honored these individuals for their involvement and contributions to the community: Philanthropist Award-Joe Parisi, Jr., CEO of The Otterstedt Insurance Agency, Community Champion Award-Vicki Sidrow, former President and CEO Vantage Health System and a mental health advocate, and Public Spirit Award- Lori Stokes, co-host of Good Day NY on Fox 5 NY.

New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle gave each honoree a Proclamation in recognition of their service in the community. Under the direction of Emma Brondolo, children from The JCC Thurnauer School of Music’s Young People’s Chorus, a grantee of The Community Chest, entertained the audience. Noted auctioneer Nick Dawes from Antiques Road Show officiated at the benefit auction.


The gala’s 2019 sponsors were: Englewood Health Foundation, Holy Name Medical Center, Robert Wilkens Insurance Agency, The Kamson Corporation, Alfiero & Lucia Palestroni Foundation, Inc., Bank of New Jersey, Citibank, Connect One Bank, Decotech, Inc.; Anton, Epstein, Harrison Rand, and Otterstedt Insurance Agency.

Young People's Chorus 2019

The JCC Thurnauer School of Music’s Young People’s Chorus performed a magical concertPhoto credit: Chris Marksbury

Joining these sponsors were: BMW of Tenafly, Boyd Richards Park & Colonnelli, P.L., Carol Geisenheimer, Dawn and Armando Diaz, Steven D. Wielkotz, GJEM-Otterstedt Insurance Agency, Inc., Hanover Insurance Agency, ISU Agency Network, Joe and Judy Klyde, Lakeland Bank, Loren and Jennifer Wimpfheimer, PNC Bank, RSK, Selective Insurance, Shelly and Justin Wimpfheimer, TD Bank, Thomas Manolio and Barbara Strauss, Valley National Bank, Vergona Crane and Visions Federal Credit Union.

Other sponsors included: AIG Private Client Group, Blanco-Daly Group, Farmers of Salem, Floor & Décor, Gemini Restoration, Joan Van Alstyne Johnson, Louise Schwartz, Cos., Michael Gandolfo, Nationwide, Phil Ball, Raymond James, Romer Debbas LLP, Stop and Shop, Wolfgang’s Inc., and WR Berkley Charitable Foundation on behalf of Berkley Luxury Group.

For further information about The Community Chest, visit www.thecommunitychestofenglewood.org or call 201-568-7474.

About The Community Chest

Founded in 1933, The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, has supported local not-for-profit agencies for 86 years. The Chest leads initiatives and supports nonprofits that make our communities stronger and benefit people in need in eastern Bergen County. Each year, The Chest raises funds and allocates them to agencies demonstrating the capacity to provide services to local citizens. The organization also provides coordinating and planning services in its communities, serving as a bridge between agencies and organizations and investing in the stability and quality of the service network.

The Community Chest’s Board of Managers is comprised of community leaders dedicated to improving the lives of neighbors in need. People interested in being considered for board membership may contact executive director Shelly Wimpfheimer at (201) 568-7474.

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