SHORT HILLS, NJ - SHORT HILLS, NJ – The Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce held its “Milestones & Memories” 2014 Gala at the Short Hills Hilton on Saturday evening and it was surely one of the social events of the season.

Nearly 200 people filled the ballroom at the Short Hills Hilton to help pay tribute to the local companies and organizations being honored. Music was provided by the band Mid-Life Crisis, courtesy of Entertainment Sponsor Dennis Klein of Rand Feuer & Klein LLC.  There were silent auction items, including an extensive jewelry display from Walter Bauman Jewelers.  An elaborate dinner was served by Sponsor The Hilton Short Hills.

The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir enthralled the crowd with their renditions of tunes by Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson and more.  The choir was one of the organizations honored.  Shayne Miller of the Paper Mill Playhouse said he was “extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of the students” in the choir and added that he “felt like a proud papa.”  The choir boasts 40 singer/dancers between the ages of 16 and 22 from all over the region and is a key part of the Playhouse’s outreach program.  In the past weeks alone, the choir performed in front of more than 20,000 people.

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Kerry Glass, the founder of Memories Live, accepted her award for the work she does creating life movies that allow the terminally ill to leave lasting memories for their loved ones. Kerry’s vision and compassion have led to her creating more than 60 movies since launching Memories Live in 2010.  With the support of the community, she is able to offer her services at no charge, and said she is gratified to be able to touch people’s lives with her work.

The Millburn Free Public Library was also honored and is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year.  Director Michael Banick outlined the many special programs planned at the library to commemorate the milestone and noted that the library has evolved with modern technology to become so much more than a building with books.  It is now a community hub with resources for everyone and access to data worldwide.

Celebrating 40 years, the Millburn Cooperative Nursery School is a unique non-profit preschool located in a one-room schoolhouse on the edge of Taylor Park.  Head Teacher Adrienne Topping accepted the award and explained how teachers and parents work together to provide a stimulating and unique preschool experience.  Their program is designed to help children grow physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially.

Mitchell Rait of Budd Larner, P.C. a law firm founded in Newark in 1934, but now headquartered in Short Hills, accepted their award commemorating 80 years. “What started with two men, John Budd and Samuel Larner, has grown into a firm with 74 attorneys working in more than 20 practice areas of law across four offices,” Rait said.  From corporate to matrimonial law, the firm has experts in every area to ensure effective representation.

The Hilton Short Hills celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.  New General Manager Jan Larsen accepted the award, joking that he could take absolutely no credit for the achievements, as he is still in his first month at the property.  The hotel has recently completed an extensive renovation, including the reopening of its full-service signature restaurant, The Dining Room, where Chef Richard Kennedy embraces the “farm to table” approach.

The Atlantic Neuroscience Institute celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Dr. John Halperin accepted the award for the Institute, recognizing how it has become the prominent neuroscience program in the state, treating thousands of patients. He said they are always striving to provide the latest advanced technologies, all for the purpose of performing care in the least invasive, highest quality environment.

Sponsors of the Gala included Investors Bank as Premier Sponsor, The Mall at Short Hills and the Paper Mill Playhouse as Leadership Sponsors, and Signal Graphics, who provided the invitations and programs.