CRANFORD – The Union County College Foundation celebrated its 24th Annual Gala on Oct. 14, at The Westwood in Garwood.

The goal of the event was to raise scholarship money for students. The gala raised more than $225,000 which will help further the core mission of the college; to provide students with an affordable, accessible, and quality education.

The evening began with a silent auction during a vivacious cocktail hour. This was followed by a delicious dinner, during which many live auction “experiences” were sold. Alumnae Maria Del Cid spoke following dinner about how the scholarships she received during her time at Union allowed her to remain a full-time student and complete her degree in two-years. Following her speech, an appeal for donations to support the cost of tuition and books for at least five students was held.

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This year, the Foundation honored Mr. Kevin Cummings, President and CEO of Investors Bank, who was named the 2016 Business Leader of the Year. Mr. Cummings received his award for the more than $250,000 that the Investors Bank Foundation has contributed to the College’s mission to support student success in the past ten years.

Mr. Warren Victor was named the 2016 Man of the Year for his continued philanthropic support to the Foundation and the local community. More than 250 attendees joined the Foundation to recognize these outstanding role models for Union County College students.

A 12-member committee of community volunteers organized and managed the gala. The chair of this year’s gala committee was Mrs. Sharon Katz.

The theme of the evening was “Passport to the World” and Investors Bank was the main sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors include DSM, Law Cash, Boston Advisors, Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri & Jacobs LLC; Elizabethtown Gas; Johnston Communications; and McCarter and English, LLP.

For more information about how you can contribute to scholarships for Union County College students, please visit the Foundation’s website at www.uccfoundation.org.