Family & Children’s Service Celebrates 103 years
at “Enchantment of the Far East”
Enchantment of the Far East Gala Co-Chairs Ursula Atkinson and Jill Gemmel
LONG BRANCH, NJ, Nov. 08, 2012 – More than 200 friends, family & supporters of Family & Children’s Service (FCS) turned out to celebrate the agency’s 103rd anniversary and to honor several of its important contributors, Saturday, October 13, during FCS’s annual fall gala “Enchantment of the Far East” at Navesink Country Club. Dr. Frank Vozos, Executive Director of Monmouth Medical Center, Rumson philanthropists Michael & Nancy Del Priore and former FCS Board President, Betty Ann Ryan were among those honored during the event, which raised more than $100,000 to support critical community-based programs, including intervention services for neglected and exploited adults, home health and respite care for families seeking a way to care for an aging loved one at home, financial management for those with mental and physical challenges, and volunteer services for dozens of local organizations..
“For more than a century, FCS has provided a lifeline for thousands of people who desperately need assistance but have little other support and few resources,” FCS President & CEO Vincent L. D’Elia told the gathering. “Last year, we came to the rescue of more than18,000 clients in Monmouth County, but we could not do have done it without the support of our many dedicated volunteers who organize our annual gala and other fundraisers throughout the year. They are critical to the agency’s success.”
This year’s Gala committee, led by co-chairs Jill Gemmel of Middletown and Ursula Atkinson of Little Silver, featured an evening of cocktails, dinner, and dancing. Entertainment was provided by the popular band, New Life Crisis and Rumson designer Jayni DiMisa created the floral table centerpieces and whimsical décor, transforming the room into an Asian temple palace. The live and silent auctions featured hundreds of donated luxury items, including original oil paintings, fine jewelry, catered dinner parties, tickets to professional sporting and entertainment events and lavish vacation packages.
“It was truly an enchanting evening,” Gemmel says. “We were delighted so many of our friends and family could join us in celebrating FCS; an organization near and dear to our hearts.”
During the Gala, Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) President & CEO Dr. Frank Vozos received the agency’s 2012 Community Service Award. Under Dr. Vozos’s leadership, MMC has also generously donated to FCS the use of a vacant 10,000 square foot building to use as a center of operation for Operation Sleighbells, the agency’s annual holiday giving program. Not only has the donated space alleviated FCS’s need to spend funds on leasing a comparable facility, but it has given dozens of volunteers and staff a safe, heated, well lit space in which to sort and pack the thousands of donated items distributed to those in need.
The agency also presented Michael & Nancy Del Priore with the FCS’s 2012 Lifetime Service Award for their enduring commitment to the agency. A member of the FCS Board of Directors for 23 years, Nancy held a number of leadership roles including FCS Board president from 1996 to1997. In addition, she and Michael have long been major sponsors of the annual FCS Golf Classic and helped pave the way for the agency’s second century by making the lead Century Club gift to the fundraising campaign celebrating FCS’s 100th anniversary.
The children of former FCS President Betty Ann Ryan accepted FCS’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of their late mother. Betty Ann, who died in April of this year, was active in FCS for more than a half century, first as a member of the agency’s Navarumsunk Auxiliary, and then as a member of the FCS Board of Directors, where she served in many leadership capacities, including president. It was during her tenure that the agency’s current offices on Bath Avenue were built.
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