BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children recently held the First Annual Spark! Gala: A Hopeful Future for Youth to raise money to support the organization’s programs.

The nonprofit agency provides abused, neglected, homeless and runaway youth throughout New Jersey with housing, a stable environment and supportive services. The agency provides seven programs for adolescents and their families, including the Brahma House, on Brahma Avenue in Bridgewater.

The gala event was held at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, and raised almost $60,000 to support such services as temporary housing, arts and recreation, combatting human trafficking, counseling, life skills training and more.

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The event included a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner and awards ceremony.

This year’s honorees included Ethicon, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Raymond Fantuzzi Jr., community leader; the Renaissance at Raritan Valley Women’s Club; and volunteers Dr. Gregory Hirsch and Joy Mathiowdis.

In addition, two of the agency’s former residents served as keynote speakers and gave accounts of how the Somerset Home made a difference in their lives.

The Lisa A. Warren Scholarship was awarded to a Somerset Home client who will be continuing his education.

“Our very first Spark! Gala was a tremendous success,” David Walker, executive director of the Somerset Home, said in a release about the event. “The inaugural event recognized individuals, companies and organizations who have given their time and support to continue our organization’s mission. Money raised will help us continue to be at the forefront of issues such as youth aging out and human trafficking that impact vulnerable youth each day. Congratulations to our outstanding gala planning committee on a job well done and thank you to our friends, supporters and the greater community for helping us provide brighter futures for youth.”