On May 6, some 200 guests gathered at Florham Park’s exclusive Park Avenue Club to celebrate County College of Morris (CCM) and to raise funds for the college’s General Scholarship Program. The event turned out to be the Foundation’s most successful ever, with more than $78,000 in “net” proceeds raised for the program.
In addition to raising needed funds, guests danced to the jazz sounds of the Warren Daniels Band, enjoyed great cuisine, bid on some 60 specially-chosen Silent Auction items and picked up their heels on the dance floor.
The focal point of the evening was the awards ceremony. As has become tradition at the Gala, Alumni Awards were presented for humanitarianism, achievement, service and for Alumnus of the Year. Also, the Foundation’s second annual Foundation Leadership Award was presented to Walter Van Brunt, president and CEO of Delta Dental of New Jersey.
Van Brunt, who has been with the company since 1993 and has headed it since 1998, was recognized for his business leadership and philanthropic service. During Van Brunt’s tenure, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation has awarded over $1 million a year primarily for dental care for the underserved but also in support of many non-profit endeavors. The Foundation’s efforts help support the delivery of dental care to more than 20,000 people in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Daren A. Cortese ’87 of Lutherville, MD, was the 2011 CCM Alumnus of the Year. Cortese is president, owner and operator of Brinton Woods Senior Living, four skilled-nursing homes in Maryland and Washington, DC. He is also director at large with the Board of Directors of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM) and was the 2010 recipient of the organization’s Gifted Spokesperson for HFAM and the Provider Community Award.
Laura Reilly ’95 of Dover, NJ, was the winner of the Alumni Humanitarian Award for her work in healthcare. Reilly, who has spent many years in nursing, is a critical care nurse in the Neuro/Surgical/Trauma ICU at Morristown Memorial Hospital. In 2010, she was named Atlantic Health Neuroscience Institute’s Nurse of the Year.
Janice (Roe) Smith ’75, ’77 of Monroe, NC, was the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award. Smith is Managing Director and Line of Business Executive for the Real Estate Structured Finance Servicing Group for Bank of America. She had previously held executive positions for Chase Manhattan Bank and JP Morgan/Chase in commercial loan servicing.
This year’s Alumni Service Award was presented to Glenbrook Technologies of Randolph, NJ, and its president, Gil Zweig. Glenbrook is a leading innovator of real-time x-ray inspection technology for the electronics, security and medical device industries. In addition, Glenbrook was recognized for its participation in the CCM co-op program and for service to the CCM Career Services and Engineering/Technology Advisory committees. Today, more than half of Glenbrook’s employees are either CCM graduates or former students.
In addition to the awards ceremony, guests heard remarks from David Seale of Denville, NJ, an international studies and mathematics major who is graduating this year and was selected as a member of the prestigious All-USA Community College Academic Team by USA Today. As the recipient of the Dean Gallo Memorial Scholarship, Seale represented all scholarship students.
The evening was capped by a performance by the college’s performing arts students. The students sang selections from Phantom of the Opera and Into the Woods, the two musicals that were performed this year at CCM.
Funds raised at the event will help support the Foundation’s General Scholarship Fund. Each year, the CCM Foundation raises over $200,000 for more than 200 scholarships in areas of study ranging from nursing, to criminal justice, to business and the performing arts. Funding scholarships remain the primary focus of the Foundation’s efforts.
Photo: CCM President Dr. Edward Yaw (left) and CCM Foundation President Joseph Vitale (right) present the 2011 Leadership Award to Delta Dental President Walter Van Brunt. The award was presented at the foundation’s 2011 gala on May 6 at which more than $78,000 was raised for scholarships.