SUMMIT, NJ - A reimagined Connection Gala celebration, which will see the annual signature event delivered virtually to comfort of folks' homes, is set for November 14 at 8 p.m.

Co-Chairs Jennifer Counihan and Ariele Sullivan have led a 2020 Gala Committee that -- while raising children, working, virtual-schooling and wearing all the hats 2020 has required women to wear -- has safely come together to volunteer, advocate and contribute to The Connection, helping to raise critical funds for the stalwart Summit organization.

The Gala will begin with a beautifully-curated celebration box delivered directly to your home. The celebration box includes a bottle of prosecco to toast to The Connection, a floral by DB Dubon alongside an elegant surprise gift to grace your table, and is completed by sumptuous spreads and pairings by Summit House.

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Partnering with Dylan Baker and the Summit House team for a second year, the virtual event will include a cocktail crafting experience led by SH Bar Manager Bobby Frascella. For those who are missing all the 'Great White Way' has to offer, 'attendees' will be treated to a Broadway-worthy performance by Tony Award-winner Nikki M. James.

Of course, the ever-popular silent auction will feature gifts and experiences that offer the perfect prep for the holidays and are designed to get all through socially-distant days ahead.

The spectacular silent auction is committed to featuring local businesses to help the community rebuild from the challenges the pandemic has posed. Items include:

  • VIP experiences at Sweet Nothings and ZOOM -- ideal for pod parties -- compliments of The Connection, NJ Backyard Movies, and Splurge Bakery.
  • Celebratory decorations from The UPS Store and Better with a Banner.
  • A personal airplane flyover made possible by the Branchflower family.
  • Gifts of time, convenience, and community graciously donated by the committee, A Unicorn Lives Here, Jen Milnes, and The Co-Co.  

While the event is always one to remember, the extraordinary experience is secondary to the mission of the evening.

"This event is a testament to the work of our committee, and the values of our community," says Gala Co-Chair and Connection Trustee Ariele Sullivan. "The pandemic has compromised so much, and it is imperative we ensure The Connection continues to thrive and support our community."   Co-Chair Jennifer Counihan adds, "We need The Connection, and now The Connection needs us. Whether you participate in the silent auction, purchase an event box, or make a donation, your gifts stay within our community to help rebuild our community."

To purchase an event box, sponsor the event, sign up for the silent auction or make a contribution, visit For more information on the Gala event or how one can support The Connection, call Lauren Nisenson at 908-273-4242, ext. 119 or contact

The Connection is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing lives and fostering community. The programs and services offered bring together individuals of diverse economic circumstances, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, culture, and physical and mental abilities to acquire skills, build self-esteem, and, through association, develop the respect that eliminates prejudice. The Connection's annual fundraising efforts directly support men, women, and children participating in community services programs, and benefiting from the Scholarship Fund.