Long Branch -- On May 17, more than 200 people attended a “Celebration of Education” event held at the Stella Maris Retreat Center on Ocean Avenue in the city. The event honored Michael Salvatore, Superintendent of Long Branch Schools and Dr. Webster Trammell, Brookdale Community College Vice President of Community Relations for and their accomplishments on behalf of the community and the successes each has brought to education in Long Branch and the surrounding communities.
The affair also raised funds for the Long Branch Concordance (LBC) to continue its community focused programsto improve the lives of families and individuals in the greater Long Branch area. Attendees included local government and school officials, business leaders, Monmouth County representatives, and others in support of the field of education.
In his remarks at the event, LBC Board of Trustees President Jack Kearns said, "We are so happy and humbled that these two wonderful men have allowed us to honor them. They bring honor to all of Long Branch. Not only do they serve the children and adults of the community, but both also attended Monmouth University. So we feel they represent all the wonderful educational opportunities available to the people of Long Branch and beyond."
In their remarks, the honorees mentioned the work of the LBC. Dr. Trammell said he had not known much about the organization until he began to look into it. "Then I was astounded at the amazing good they accomplish for the people of our city."
Mr. Salvatore noted that the LBC works closely with many other organizations in the area. "All stand shoulder to shoulder, just like the people in this room, to help others."
The event featured music performed by Long Branch High School students. The High School Band Jazz Ensemble provided a welcoming for guests, and Kimberly Laureano, a member of the school's ROTC gave a stirring rendition of "God Bless America", and the school's A Capella Choir closed the event with a delightful set of inspiring songs.
LBC's Executive Director Lisa Wilson, MSW, called the evening a complete success. "The honorees were wonderful, so more people than we expected came to help celebrate all they have accomplished. And Admiral Paul Gaffney, President of Monmouth University and a long time supporter of the LBC, joined us for the evening. Plus the desserts were wonderful."
Wilson thanked the contributors who helped make the affair a success. The centerpieces were tomato plants in pots. They were donated by Juliano Farms in Tinton Falls, and will be used in the LBC's Seventh Avenue Community Garden. Coffee was donated by Readies Cafe in Red Bank. The variety of desserts were donated by Nahum's Bakery in Deal, the Culinary Education Center of Monmouth County, Frosted A & M Bakery of Manalapan, Caputo's Bakery of Long Branch, Sodexo School Services with a special thanks to Mr. Paul Eschelbach and the Long Branch School Employees Association. The Long Branch Police Explorers provided parking guidance.
The Long Branch Concordance, a local non-profit agency established in 2004, works to improve the lives of families in Long Branch and the surrounding area by finding resources for people in need, fostering individual and family development and creating partnerships for community well-being. For more information about the agency and our services, please visit our website at www.lbc4help.org . The LBC also welcomes the community to tour our LBC office and Family Success Center facilities located at 279 Broadway, Suite 301 in Long Branch.