Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

State Theatre New Jersey Benefit Raises $624,604

5ba279cce179f672bf3e_StateTheatre_Gala2017-3718.jpg
L-R: STNJ President & CEO Tom Carto, Ronald G. Rios, Freeholders Leslie Koppel, Blanquita B. Valenti, Charles E. Tomaro, Shanti Narra, and STNJ Chair of the Board of Trustees Scott Fergang. Credits: Jeff Auger
c537fa4e30f009cfeabf_StateTheatre_Gala2017-3852.jpg
L-R: Principal Jeffrey Jones and Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Craig Guiffre from American Benefits Consulting accept their award on stage from STNJ President & CEO Tom Carto. Credits: Jeff Auger
03107ab26832cb9fb2ce_StateTheatre_Gala2017-3882.jpg
Honorees Brent and Susan Podlogar accept their award on the State Theatre New Jersey stage. Credits: Jeff Auger
86b29f5132769ff4c997_StateTheatre_Gala2017-3921.jpg
State Theatre New Jersey Benefit Gala artist and six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald performing on the State Theatre New Jersey stage. Credits: Jeff Auger
5ba279cce179f672bf3e_StateTheatre_Gala2017-3718.jpg

On May 13, 2017 the State Theatre New Jersey Benefit Gala, featuring six-time Tony Award®-winner Audra McDonald, raised $624,604 for the not-for-profit performing arts center. Proceeds from the Benefit Gala support State Theatre New Jersey’s acclaimed artistic and educational programs.

“We were thrilled to have Tony®, Grammy®, and Emmy® Award-winning artist and arts advocate Audra McDonald as our Benefit Gala performer this year,” commented State Theatre President & CEO Tom Carto. “It was a great evening of entertainment and philanthropy, all in support of our mission of providing arts education programs to inform and build future audiences.”

“We exceeded our fundraising goal by over 10%, which was terrific! More importantly, this was a night where everyone had a lot of fun,” added Scott Fergang, State Theatre New Jersey’s Chair of the Board and Benefit Gala Co-Chair. “I want to say thank you to the Gala Committee, Board, staff, and volunteers for their hard work and dedication in making this event a tremendous success.”

Sign Up for E-News

This year’s Benefit Gala featured a performance by singer and actress Audra McDonald. In addition to a record-breaking six Tony® Awards—distinguishing her as the most decorated performer in American theater—she is the recipient of two Grammy® Awards, an Emmy® Award, and a 2015 National Medal of Arts bestowed on her by President Barack Obama. Her performance on May 13 included songs from the great American songbook and Broadway favorites—including “Summertime,” “I Could Have Danced all Night,” and “Climb Every Mountain.” After her performance, she paid a special visit to Gala guests in the ballroom, emphasizing the importance of arts education and how it changed her life.

The State Theatre 2017 Benefit Gala recognized three honorees this year—Corporate honoree, American Benefits Consulting; Patron honorees, Brent and Susan Podlogar; and Leadership in the Arts honorees, Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios and the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said: “The Freeholder Board is committed to giving our residents the chance to learn, to perform and to enjoy the arts in all its forms. We are dedicated to making Middlesex County a destination for people from all over the Northeast Region for top quality arts and cultural programs and performances. It is with the help of our artists, our cultural and arts centers, our local arts and cultural groups and their patrons that we can achieve this. So we thank State Theatre CEO and President Tom Carto and the State Theatre Board, staff, and patrons for their help in making the arts accessible to all our residents.”

“This year’s Gala was truly a night to remember,” said Brent and Susan Podlogar. “We have long supported the arts and the growth of arts education in our communities and we thank the State Theatre for this incredible honor.”

“We appreciate the State Theatre for honoring us and we thank them for all they do to make New Jersey a better place through the power of live performance,” said Craig J. Guiffre, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of American Benefits Consulting and State Theatre New Jersey Trustee.

Almost 500 patrons attended the Black-Tie Dinner Dance at New Brunswick’s The Heldrich Hotel. Among the attendees were community, arts, business, and civic leaders from central New Jersey and around the state. In addition to the concert, Gala festivities included a dinner reception, a silent auction with over 70 items, open bars, Viennese dessert buffets, dancing, and live music provided by the Gerard Carelli Orchestra.

The State Theatre 2017 Benefit Gala committee included (Chair of the State Theatre New Jersey Board of Trustees, Gala Co-Chair) Scott Fergang of Ramsey; Barbra Fergang of Ramsey; (Gala Vice-Chair) Linda Piscadlo of Somerset; (Trustee, Gala Vice-Chair) Matt Taylor of Marlboro; (Gala Vice-Chair) Tracy Taylor of Marlboro; (Corporate Co-Chair, MetLife) Bradd M. Chignoli of Westfield; (Corporate Co-Chair, Insigniam) Shideh Sedgh Bina of Villanova, PA; Dee Abedradoh of Kendall Park; Lisa Berlin of Highland Park; Hiam Boraie of Milltown; Meredith Bzdak of High Bridge; Michael Bzdak of High Bridge; Cathy Gombas of East Brunswick;  (Trustee) Craig Guiffre of Scotch Plains; Eileen Harkins of New Brunswick; (Trustee) Bill Herman of Clifton; Gabriel Lavigne of Colts Neck; Richard T. McDonald of Millstone Township; Donna Miyamoto of Whitehouse Station; Karen Needham of Hillsborough; Theresa Ragozine of Spring Lake; John Reissner of Tinton Falls; Maggie Stavrianidis of Somerset; Kateryna Synyak; Wendy Wiebalk of Piscataway; Melanie Willoughby of West Windsor; and Jennifer Zimmer of Edison.

The Emerald Gala Sponsors included: American Benefits Consulting, Insigniam, and MetLife.

The Diamond Gala Sponsors included: Aetna; Bob and Joan Campbell; EY; and Alma Scott.

Platinum Partners included: Brent and Susan Podlogar.

More photos available upon request.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Jim Bullard for 2nd Ward Piscataway Township Council

May 27, 2018

1. Why are you running for re-election to the Piscataway Township council?

This year will be my third term as a councilman and I would like to continue to provide services that will enhance the greatness of Piscataway. I am an advocate of our seniors’ population, youth sports and cultures. This mindset has promoted Piscataway’s cultures and diversity programs, promoted health and ...

Steven Cahn for Ward 3 Piscataway Township Council

Why I am Running for Township Council:

I am running for re-election for the 3rd Ward Piscataway Township Council position because I want to remain part of the team that has been very successful in making great improvements to our community in recent years. We have been named three times (2008, 2010, 2014) by MONEY Magazine as one of the best towns to live in America. I am also running because ...

Michele Lombardi for Ward 4 Piscataway Township Council

Hello, I’m Michele Lombardi, your Piscataway fourth ward councilwoman. I’m asking for your support in the upcoming democratic primary race on Tuesday June 5th. I care about what happens here in Piscataway.

I have lived in Piscataway my whole life, I was raised by parents who have strong family values and taught me to be involved in my community. My dad was a volunteer firefighter ...

Mohammed Raqeeb for Ward 4 Piscataway Township Council

Mohammed Raqeeb for Ward 4 Piscataway Township Council, June 5 Democratic Primary

1. Why are you running for election for Piscataway Township Council, Ward 4?

Piscataway is a very special place to my family and me. Along with my wife, I have been a homeowner here for 13 years, where we are raising our 3 children. I am running to be the Ward 4 representative on Piscataway’s Township ...

Frank Uhrin for Ward 1 Piscataway Township Council, June 5 Democratic Primary

1. Why are you running for election to the Piscataway Township Council?

Little League baseball and Pop Warner Football have taught me a lot: teamwork matters, hard work counts, and there is a place and role for everyone.I cherish the time I spend as a Little League commissioner and Pop Warner president because the sparkle in every child’s eye when he or she makes a great play or comes to ...

Dr. Tom Connors for Ward 2 Piscataway Township Council, June 5 Democratic Primary

1. Why are you running for election for Piscataway Township Council, Ward 2?

I have been a resident of Piscataway for the past 30 years.   I have been a Democrat my entire life.  I am running for election because I'm tired of Piscataway’s career politicians who have made decades of unfulfilled promises. In my book, they get a failing grade for how they have handled the ...

Staci Berger for Ward 3 Piscataway Township Council, June 5 Democratic Primary

1. Why are you running for election for Piscataway Township Council, Ward 3?

I am running for the Piscataway Township Council Ward 3 position because our community needs new leadership. I will be the independent, principled, and collaborative advocate our neighborhood deserves.

I have been a Piscataway homeowner for 20 years.  I am proud that my husband, Bill Irwin, and I are raising ...

Dr. Jacqueline Littlejohn - Candidate for Piscataway Town Council

Why are you running for election to the Piscataway Township Council?

I am running for election to the Piscataway Township Council because I believe that a vibrant democracy only flourishes when the governed have a voice in their government, be it in the form of compromise, protest, or even becoming viable candidates themselves. I have chosen the latter approach. As a candidate I want to be the ...

The Piscataway Democratic Organization Names its 2018 Ward Slate

The Piscataway Democratic Party is putting forward an incredible slate of ward candidates for the Township Council.  “Frank Uhrin, Jim Bullard, Steven D. Cahn and Michele Lombardi have brought us a 12 percent drop in the tax rate, many new job opportunities for hard working residents, and a rise in property values,” party chair and former mayor, Ted Light said.  ...

The Inclusion Center Provides Transition and Training for Autistic Young Adults

May 27, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Autistic students in the East Brunswick have the benefit of an expansive program of services and support both within the school system and from community resources.  What happens, though, to those young adults who "age out" or graduate from high schools and still require direction and training?  The Inclusion Center of East Brunswick may provide the link ...

Obituaries

Toms River – Mary Stella Whiteman, 97, passed away peacefully Saturday May 19, 2018 in Rose ...
Read more
Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more

NFL Alumni to Host Charity Event at MetLife Stadium

May 27, 2018

NFL Alumni To Host Charity Event At MetLife Stadium on June 13, 2018 From 5:30PM To 9:00PM

Fun for Adults and Kids 

Tickets Available. Kids Under 10 Free

 

Meet NFL Players and Play Celebrity Flag Football

Field Access. Pictures. Autographs. Tours.

KanJam and Cornhole Tournaments

 

The NFL Alumni Association (NFLA) will host a charity event on June 13th at ...

Relay For Life Top Fundraiser Brianna Cagan – Event Set For June 2

When Brianna Cagan’s dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, she and her family wanted to do something meaningful to fund cancer research. Brianna, her mom Sue Kelly, and their friends started a started a Relay For Life team called “Pearly Girls.” Seven years later, the high school freshman is the American Cancer Society’s top individual fundraiser for the Berkeley ...

Violent Campus Rapist Sentenced in New Brunswick

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - While walking across the Rutgers new Brunswick campus two years ago, a young woman was grabbed, viciously beaten, and raped by a middle-aged man from Newark.  She was saved by several students who intervened on her behalf.  Yesterday, her attacker was sentenced to 22 years in prison with no early release possibility.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey ...

Holy Savior Cheerleading Squad Takes Season by 'Storm'

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy’s (HSA) ‘Biddy’ Cheerleading Squad, the Storm,  recently completed their 2017-2018 season with a first place win in their division at Cheerfest. Held May 12 at Six Flags Great Adventure, the annual multi-state competition featured teams from throughout New Jersey. 

“This cheer season has been such an ...

Giamarese Farms and Farmers Against Hunger Grow Food for Those in Need

May 26, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a hot Friday morning before Memorial Day, volunteers were hard at work planting eggplant, tomatoes, beans and other veggies here in East Brunswick as part of an initiative by the activist group Farmers Against Hunger.  The plot on Fresh Ponds Road was donated by Jim Giamarese, and the labor was provided by corporate volunteers and local farmers.  ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...