LONG BRANCH: The Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 83rd Annual Business Awards Dinner on Friday, March 23 at the Ocean Place Resort main dining room on the oceanfront. The 200 attendees filled the room early as old and new friends enjoyed the casual nature of the event and took a few moments to look over the traditional silent auction winner gift array.
The Community Service Awards, the Louis G. Libutti awards, were conferred on John F. (Jack) Keily, Jr. and John M. keily of the Keily Family of Companies. Once the Keily Construction Company, time and history have grown the original business in scope and size to its present title. The men running the business have been significant contributors to the business and community-oriented matters of the city, the area and beyond. The Keily's long-lived reputation of taking an active role in the city's well-being dates back to Jack's participation in fire and emergency services and civic and charity events.
For Libutti honoree Patricia Booth O'Neill, (pictured on the left with friends Pat Schneider and Shannon Booth) the association with the community reaches back to her start of her karate Academy in the 1980's which she managed for the two decades before taking on the challenge of owner and manager of the Link News, a newspaper started off at the turn of the century and which has become a much relied upon source for Long Branch area activities. She attributes her success to her brother Mike and other nearby family members. Looking back to earlier when support also came from her mother who passed away about 30 years ago. Her mother stays with her spiritually on a daily basis, Patty says.
The event is looked forward to as a major business event every year. It draws attendance from the city and surrounds and from old and new businesses who see the event as a statement of success.