Hundreds of employees, alumni, local officials and community members came together for a historic night at the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale on May 27, raising an unprecedented amount of money for Brookdale students during the 2016 Brookdale Foundation Scholarship Ball.
The event, hosted by the Brookdale Foundation, raised an all-time record of more than $96,000 for student scholarships and support services while providing attendees with a night of dinner, dancing, prize drawings and live entertainment.
The program began with welcome addresses by Foundation Executive Director Timothy Zeiss, Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy, Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley and Foundation President Candy Langan-Sattenspiel, who thanked the more than 250 attendees for making a difference in the lives of Brookdale students.
“I feel blessed to have this opportunity to give back to the school that meant so much to me,” said Langan-Sattenspiel, a Brookdale alumni. “This school changed my life, and helped me make a difference in this wonderful world we live in. This is why I am so delighted and grateful for your attendance. The Scholarship Ball funds our mission and provides support to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to achieve their goals. I thank you and applaud you all.”
The evening also served as an opportunity to recognize two community leaders for their own contributions to the Garden State: Thomas Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; and Monmouth Medical Center.
Bracken, a member of the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame, spent four decades in the banking and financial services industry, serving as president of TriState Capital Bank’s New Jersey operation in Princeton and CEO of Sun Bancorp, Inc. He is a former chairman of the Economic Development Corporation of Trenton and the New Jersey Bankers Association.
Accepting his award, Bracken recalled one of his first forays in Monmouth County banking more than 40 years ago, when he was working for a bank that moved into Asbury Park. One of the first people he met in the area, he said, was Webster Trammell, Brookdale’s now-retired vice president of development, community and governmental relations.
After years of doing business with the college – and decades more working with employers and community members from across the state – Bracken said he believes colleges like Brookdale will play a vital role in rebuilding the middle class and revitalizing the Garden State workforce in the years ahead.
“Brookdale has a marvelous reputation, and it does a good job with probably a lot less resources than it has had in the past,” Bracken said. “But hopefully we can find a way to get more resources and help you develop more qualified workers, and help those people create a better life for themselves. At the end of the day, that is what everybody in my organization and all of our members want to do.
“We have some severe challenges,” Bracken added. “It’s going to be an uphill battle. But we feel that if we don’t do this, nobody else will… Hopefully with our work and the great work Brookdale is doing, we can make a difference in the lives of some people, and hopefully advance the state of New Jersey.”
Monmouth Medical Center, located in Long Branch, is home to the Unterberg Children’s Hospital and is one of the largest academic medical centers in New Jersey. Since its founding more than 125 years ago, the center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques.
Accepting the award on behalf of Monmouth Medical, president and CEO Bill Arnold remarked on the hospital’s nearly five-decade relationship with Brookdale faculty, students and graduates.
Joining Arnold at the ball, in fact, were seven Brookdale alumni who are now proud members of the Monmouth Medical team.
“It’s really amazing what they do every day, and they all started at Brookdale,” Arnold said. “On behalf of Monmouth Medical and the Board of Trustees I want to thank you all for the honor. We look forward to working with you for many years to come.”
The two honorees also received official certifications of recognition from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, which were presented by Freeholders John Curley and Gary Rich. Also in attendance were Brookdale trustees Carl Guzzo Jr., Tracey Abby-White, Henry Cram, Les Richens, Francis Kaufman, Gary Tolchin and graduate trustee Paul Geissler.
The 2016 Scholarship Ball was co-chaired by Carol Stillwell, President of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc.; Candy Langan-Sattenspiel, Sattenspiel Surgical Arts Pavilion; and Karen Escobedo, Community Relations Director at New Jersey Natural Gas.
Following a night of music, dancing and auctions for more than 125 unique items and experiences – including an autographed box set from Bruce Springsteen – the ball concluded with an address from former Foundation scholarship recipient and current private chef Feeza Khan, who thanked the attendees for supporting students like herself.
“My scholarship enabled me to work a bit less and focus more on my studies. It also inspired me to continue on the path to being a chef and to achieve my dreams,” said Khan, who graduated from the Culinary Education Center. “I want you to know that I came to Brookdale with a dream. I left with a plan. The scholarship that I received from the Foundation has made a huge difference in my life. So on behalf of myself and thousands of other scholarship recipients, I would like to thank you for your support.”
The Brookdale Foundation’s “Building Minds, Building Futures” scholarship fund provided nearly $420,000 in scholarships and grants to more than 500 Brookdale students this past academic year. Over the last fifteen years, the Brookdale Foundation has provided over $4.4 million in scholarships and grants to nearly 7,000 students.
To learn more about the Brookdale Foundation and available Brookdale scholarships, click here.
Check out more photos from the 2016 Scholarship Ball here.
Watch video of the 2016 Scholarship Ball here.