The Order of St. John of Jerusalem—one of the world’s oldest orders of chivalry—The Commandery of New York held its Annual Charity Holiday Gala at the Metropolitan Club, Friday November 30th. The Gala raised funds in honor of CUMAC, Northern New Jersey’s largest anti-hunger agencies whose stated mission is “Feeding People and “Changing Lives.”
OSJ Prior of the Americas, Dame Ann Van Ness remarked, “For years, CUMAC has attacked hunger. It benefits the Order’s mission to support CUMAC in any way that we can. I am proud that OSJ Knights and Dames have stepped up support of this extraordinarily worthy cause.”
This marks the second Gala in which OSJ honors CUMAC. In the past, the Order has raised funds to purchase a refrigeration truck and permanent indoor refrigeration for the agency in order to allow CUMAC to connect supermarkets, restaurants hotels and other sources to food pantries with fresh, nourishing meals. The Order maintains a close connection with its honorees and have organized events supporting many entities such as Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, America’s Vet Dogs, US Vets and Table to Table.
The evening was co-chaired by Dame Judith Gates, Dame Claire Burke, Chevalier James Doran, Dame Diana Frankel, Chevalier Fredrick Hoff. Gala Committee included Dames Barbara Gross, Evelyn Berry, Leah Conetta, Candace Gonzalez, Patricia Eltinge, Mary Elaine Morris, Melinda Bush, Deeanne Turek, Chevalier Douglas Ayres, William Van Ness, Patrick Hill, and H.E. Grand Hospitaller Dr. Vincent Bonagura.
Sponsors and cooperate sponsors, Ayres Hotels, Melinda Bush, Evelyn Berry, Veronica Lane Books, James J. Doran, Dream Hotel, Greta Fisdell, Barbara Hemmerle Gollust, Bunny Grossinger, Barbara and David Gross, Linda and Peter Hoffman, Frederick Hoff, Diana and Frank Hughes, Investors Bank, Paul Labrecque, Judy McLaren, Ani Ramen, Paul Sui DDS, Barbara and Donald Tober, TD Bank, Top of the Rock, Van Ness Pet Products, Paul Vigue, Barbara Wolf, and Pamela Wright.
Among the evening’s festivities was a musical performance by Soprano Chelsea Bonagura and American operatic baritone Jorell Williams.