SOMERSET, NJ - In less than a week the Franklin Gazebo has been put to use. Sara Brookes-Bertolatus and Thomas McDermott had their wedding photos on taken on Tuesday by Amy Schweitzer of Amy Schweitzer Photography.

Original story:

The Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council (FTCAC) officially gifted the Franklin Gazebo, to the township with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 16. 

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The Franklin Gazebo, located at the municipal complex, was made possible by donors, and patrons through financial and in-kind donations.

FTCAC members John T. Felix, Bill Grippo, and Michael Steinbrück played key roles in making the high-value project a reality.

"If you were to put together all the cash and in-kind donations, just the value of everything that happened there, including the sidewalks going all the way out (to the street), you would be over $100,000, Steinbrück said. "That's the value of what happened, and the taxpayers didn't have to pay a penny towards (the gazebo)."

Organizers say the ADA compliant Franklin Gazebo can be used by anyone in the community to host cultural events such as musical and theatrical shows, to prom and wedding photo shoots, and other cultural celebrations.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Grippo told attendees Vimal Sodhani of the Sodhani Foundation also played a key role in making the project happen.

"With his generous donation of $15,000 the vision on an arts gazebo in Franklin became possible," Grippo said. 

Township residents interested in reserving the Franklin Gazebo for an event can contact the Township of Franklin Recreation Department at 732-873-2500.

Members of the community interested in helping with Phase II of the project, which will bring electricity and lighting can contact the FTCAC at

Steinbrück says there are plans for an inaugural event to take place at the Franklin Gazebo Oct. 20, just one week after Canal Fest. 

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