EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Mayor Brad Cohen hosted his first Mayor Gala at the Park Chateau Estate and Garden to raise money for multiple charities and organizations in East Brunswick as well as honoring individuals in the community. The evening included speeches from prominent politicians such as Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman.

This was the first time that East Brunswick has held a Mayor’s gala in 15 years, according to Assemblywoman Pinkin. The event is meant to honor and celebrate distinguished members and institution of the community such as Jane Mueller, a real estate agent in East Brunswick, Austin Kosik, the Communications System Coordinator for 911 in East Brunswick, The Brunswick Memorial Home, and the East Brunswick Educational Foundation.

“All of these are pillars of the community. This is a sold out event and it just shows that there is a lot of vibrancy in the community and that is really what we are celebrating.” Pinkin said. “We are doing this at the Chateau, a historic building. It’s another jewel of the community and another thing to celebrate in East Brunswick,” said Cohen.

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All the money that is being collected from the gala is going to Mayor Cohen’s Charity Fund, a non-profit trust that is governed by a board of members which does not include the mayor.  Money raised through the Charity Fund will be distributed to non-profit organizations within the Township of East Brunswick and to residents in need, according to the event website. Recipients include the Daisy Foundation, which provides programs and services for those with special needs in the township, and the Lost Souls Project which raises money for memorials in East Brunswick to commemorate residents in East Brunswick who were victims of slavery.

The gala was hosted by the Mayor of East Brunswick Brad Cohen, the first term Democrat who will be running for reelection in 2020. Mayor Cohen kicked off the event by acknowledging the diversity of the room and discussing the importance of this event as a way for those with wealth to give back to the community

“We are all so very lucky to live in a country in an unbelievable country with such wealth and blessing and it is incumbent of us to recognize that what really matters in life is what you give back to others. You can only really accumulate so much.” Mayor Cohen said.

 Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman also made opening remarks before the honorary ceremony.  Congresswoman Coleman commemorated the community for showing up to the event in large numbers not to support a political candidate or party, but as a means to “lift up members of the community” by being charitable and investing in the township.

Mayor Cohen said that he feels his first Gala went great, he was especially proud to have sold out the Chateau and was happy to see what he calls “a kaleidoscope” of different ethnicities in attendance to support a great cause and to promote their own community.

 “I’m totally proud of the honorees. The reality is that we had a lot of people to choose from and it wasn’t an easy decision to make.” Mayor Cohen said “That's a testament to the fact that there are so many great people doing so many great things in town that to pick just one person was not easy for us to do.”