On the evening of Monday, October 19, the Red Bank-based nonprofit Lunch Break will host its sixth annual gala, “Under One Roof,” celebrating 32 years of dedicated service to the community.
Taking place from 6 to 10 pm at Navesink Country Club in Middletown, the event will celebrate the successful completion of the capital campaign that once again brought all of Lunch Break’s services together under one roof.
Several individuals and groups will be honored at this special event for their steadfast commitment to the mission of Lunch Break. This year’s honorees will be Trudy and Charlie Parton, who will receive the Norma Todd Service Award; Foodstock NJ, the recipient of the Beacon of Service Award; Christian Brothers Academy, honored with the Charitable Youth Award; and Lunch Break’s Homebound Volunteers, who will collectively be honored with the Heart to Hand Award.
The evening will include a spirited dinner reception, a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and a live auction with auctioneer Nick Dawes, familiar to many through his expert appraisals on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Brian Kirk and the Jirks will provide their own brand of great music to ensure a night of fun and dancing.
“Our annual gala enables us to continue our mission of providing life’s basic necessities, food, clothing, and fellowship, free of charge, to community members in need,” explains Lunch Break executive director Gwen Love. “One of the biggest expenses in our annual budget is the purchase of food. The funds raised during this very special evening will ensure no member of our community will go hungry.”
In 2014 Lunch Break served more than 63,000 hot meals while the food pantry assisted more than 1,000 families each month. Other important services provided by Lunch Break include the delivery of hot meals, six days a week, to our elderly and disabled homebound clients by our hard-working volunteers. There’s Clara’s Closet, a place where the public can donate new and gently used clothing with volunteers then sorting through the clothing and selecting formal and professional attire for the Suited for Success program that provides employed, under-employed and unemployed clients with outfits – from head to toe – that are appropriate for business situations from job interviews to spending a day in the office.
Lunch Break’s Social Service Network offers a one-stop shop by offering clients access to a wide range of health and social service resources. Among the services offered are their BackPack program that gives school backpacks, loaded with school supplies, to more than 600 underprivileged school children; a Community Gardener’s Market that distributes free, locally grown produce; and the Lunch Break Job Board and an Internet Cafe where guests can research jobs, write resumes, and check their email. There are also cooking classes for children, dinner nights for the community at-large, the monthly Dinner and A Movie night for those in the Boys & Girls Club, and an Adopt-A-Family holiday toy distribution program.
Lunch Break continues to be an integral part of local disaster relief efforts and is still assisting families coping in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy three years ago. All of Lunch Break’s services and programs are free of charge, thanks to the generosity of numerous donors and the support of hundreds of dedicated volunteers.
This year’s gala event is chaired by board member Mimi Keenan, who explains that “I am continually amazed at Lunch Break’s ability to provide the number and diversity of services to the community with a relatively small staff, yet always looking for additional ways to provide help. And always doing so with compassion, dignity and respect.”
Tickets to the “Under One Roof” gala are $175 per person. For additional information, tickets, or to donate to Lunch Break, please call Jill Gwydir at (732)747-8577, ext. 3107.