Have a (community) ball

Firefighter fundraiser sold out

Longtime Secaucus resident Ellen LoPresto went to the Secaucus Community Ball on April 23 an hour early. As part of the event committee, she went with her husband Martin Einstein to make sure the event was coordinated correctly.
LoPresto, 60, has lived in Secaucus for 34 years, and went to the ball to meet new people and friends.
“It was the first time my husband and I ever went, and we were very happy,” she added, “The evening started with drinks and appetizers. Then we moved onto the buffet with two whole roasted pigs. The food was just wonderful, and so delicious!”
The event took place at La Reggia restaurant.

“It’s a great, close-knit community-feel.” – Ellen LoPresto
Every year the proceeds from the Secaucus Community Ball go to a different beneficiary. Last year they went towards funding the library. This year, all of the proceeds from the Community Ball benefitted Secaucus’ five volunteer fire departments.
“They’re up for us all the time and we wanted to show our respect,” LoPresto said. “To know that we are honoring and thanking these people who help us is really special.”
Secaucus Event Coordinator Susan Flannagan said there were 280 people at the event.

Exceeded fundraising goal

“It was sold out,” Mayor Michael Gonnelli said, “Our goal was to raise $5,000, because we wanted to make $1,000 for each fire department.” Money was raised from the tickets, a tricky tray raffle, and a 50/50 raffle.
Some prizes from the raffles that LoPresto noted were tablets, digital cameras, wine, lottery tickets, and TV’s. “The prizes were beautiful,” she said.
By the end of the night they raised around $6,500.
“It was a lot of fun,” Flannagan said. Before attending the ball, Flannagan coordinated the menu, color scheme, lantern center pieces, and the invitations for tickets.
“They had a magician and a comedian. It was quite enjoyable. After that they opened the dance floor with a DJ,” LoPresto said, “I took my time to introduce myself to the people I’ve always heard of, but never seen. We got to talking, and it was lovely. It’s a great, close-knit community-feel.”
LoPresto said she and her husband started attending community events one year ago, because they didn’t know many people in town.
LoPresto said she made many new friends, and had such a great time that she stayed until the end. “Pretty much everyone stayed until the end. It was that great of an event. We’re definitely going back to more.”

Samantha Meyers can be reached at samantham@hudsonreporter.com .

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group