The Newark Museum enters its second century of cultural and educational leadership on Saturday, May 1, with its annual benefit ball, a highlight of the state's spring social calendar.

"From its earliest beginnings," said Museum Director Mary Sue Sweeney Price, "Newark Museum's annual ball has been a celebration of great art and culture and community access to education." Dedicated this year as The Geometric Gala, the event is inspired by the Museum's critically-acclaimed exhibition - Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s-50s. The black tie gala is held in the beautifully tented Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden.

The Geometric Gala will honor David Grant, retiring president and Chief Executive Officer of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, a giant of the not-for-profit cultural world; Grizel Ubarry, a museum trustee who for a near-quarter century has fostered relations with the state's Latino Community; and The Port Authority of New Jersey, whose contributions resulted in the restoration of two rare murals by the artist Arshile Gorky, which are central works in the exhibit.

Both Grant and Ubarry will receive the Newark Museum Medal for Meritorious Service, its highest honor. The Port Authority will be honored as a Distinguished Community Partner.

Co-chairing The Geometric Gala are Marie and Joe Melone of New Vernon and Jazz and Chris Merton of Pottersville. Samuel A. Delgado, Vice President, External Affairs of Verizon and Peter B. Sayre, Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller of Prudential Financial are Corporate Vice Chairs.

Members of the Gala Committee include: Hon. Augusto Amador of Newark; Randi and Marc Berson of Millburn; Gloria Hopkins Buck of Newark; Ambassador Osmar Chohfi, Consul General of Brazil; Hon. Albert Coutinho of Newark; Patricia and Robert Curvin of Newark; Saul and Ellyn Dennison of Bernardsville; Mary Ann and Stephen Ehrlich of Maplewood and Palm Beach; Sheriff Armando Fontoura and Mary Fontoura; Mona and Jon Gibson of Far Hills; Joseph L. Buckley, Esq. of Summit; His Excellency Alejandro Bertola, Consul General of Argentina.

Also, Susan Baer of Verona, Michael Graves of Princeton; Kathy and Mark Grier of Far Hills; Joan and Eugene Kalkin of Bernardsville; Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Koven of Lebanon; Dorothy D. Lewis of New York; Arlene and Len Lieberman of Hoboken; Ruth and Michael Lipper of Summit; Paula and Bill Marino of Morris Township; Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Ollie of Newark; Maria Amélia Paiva, Consul General of Portugal, and José Carlos Ferreira; Dr. and Mrs. Clement Alexander Price of Newark; Cynthia and Andrew Richards of Bedminster; Dr. Linda M.A. Rodrigues of Newark; Maudie and Kevin Shanley of Gladstone; Mr. and Mrs. William Weldon of New Hope; and Dana and Mark Williams of Millburn.