02/11/2020 11:26 AM -
Somerville, NJ - Operation Shoebox New Jersey will celebrate its 15th anniversary of maintaining a supply line of personal care packages to U.S. troops deployed overseas with a cocktail reception, dinner and live auction at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Saturday, February 29 beginning at 6:00 pm.
The event will be sponsored by Flemington Car & Truck Country Family of Brands, Clinton Honda, Jaguar Land Rover Princeton and the Somerset Patriots.
The volunteer, non-profit organization was founded on February 4, 2005 in Somerville at a meeting that was attended by local and community leaders, including Steve Kalafer, owner of Flemington Car & Truck Country Family of Brands and the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club. At that meeting, Kalafer said we must go forward immediately and provided the initial funding to create the foundation.
“Without Steve’s enthusiasm and direction, there might not have been an Operation Shoebox New Jersey,” said the organization’s Executive Director Rod Hirsch. “He was the first person to support our mission, see the value of what we would become, and write the check that started it all. We couldn’t be more thankful for all he has done, which is why it was important for me and our volunteers to honor him.”
The Kalafer family and the Somerset Patriots will be recipients of the Operation Shoebox New Jersey Founders Award for their significant contributions to the success of the organization since its inception.
“It’s an honor for our family and businesses to be a part of Operation Shoebox New Jersey’s 15-year journey,” said Kalafer. “The work that this organization has done as an all-volunteer organization is incredible. Supporting our men and women in uniform serving our country all around the world with something as simple as a care package from home, is an act of kindness we can all use more of in this world. We love the work of Operation Shoebox New Jersey, but more importantly, we love our active military and veterans the organization supports.”
Operation Shoebox New Jersey volunteers have packaged and shipped over 170,000 care packages overseas at hundreds of packing events throughout New Jersey at schools, firehouses, houses of worship, VFW halls, YMCA gymnasiums, hotel ballrooms, corporate cafeterias – even the deck of the USS New Jersey battleship anchored in the Delaware River.
The 15th Anniversary Gala dinner program will include a video highlighting the organization’s involvement with the local Somerset County community and commitment to hundreds of thousands of US troops deployed overseas; remarks by founder and executive director Rod Hirsch, and the presentation of the Founders Award to the Kalafer family and the Somerset Patriots.
Special guest Joseph Bodnar of Bodnar’s Auctions, the reigning bid calling champion of the New Jersey Society of Auctioneers, will preside over the live fundraising auction, with all proceeds dedicated to pay for the shipment of Operation Shoebox New Jersey care packages. All guests will receive a bidder’s paddle so that they can participate in the lively auction.
The auction will feature exclusive experiences including a trip to see The Music Man on Broadway starring Hugh Jackman, a New York Yankees VIP package, a Trump National Golf Club foursome, gift baskets, electronics, gift certificates and limited-edition artwork donated by nationally-renowned sports and wildlife artist James Fiorentino.
The evening’s sponsors include NJM Insurance, RWJBarnabas Health, Bellari Home Remodeling, Flemington Department Store, Hillsborough UNICO, NJIT, Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, Grape Expectations, Mannion’s Irish Pub, Fedway, Backpacks For Life, James Fiorentino, and Supreme Lithographers.
There are several corporate sponsorship packages still available, which include premium seating and high-visibility advertising at the event and in the dinner program.
Individual tickets are $250. Seating will be available at tables of eight and ten. For those unable to attend, there are opportunities to purchase advertising in the dinner program; donations are also accepted.
Email Operation Shoebox New Jersey at [email protected] for reservations or call (908) 255-4172 for further information on sponsorships and advertising.Credit card payments can be made on the website using the PayPal link.