Committee Members Kick Off Countdown to Centennial Celebration Gala with ‘Bellinis and Brunch’

RED BANK, NJ - Nearly 100 years ago, six women, led by a social reformer and philanthropist Geraldine L. Thompson, chartered a public health nursing organization to meet the needs of the broader Middletown community. Today that organization, known over the years as MCOSS, the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, and Visiting Nurse Association Health Group (VNAHG), has grown to be the largest nonprofit community health provider of home care, hospice and community-based services in the state and the second largest visiting nurse association in the nation, caring for more than 120,000 individuals each year, regardless of circumstance.

To commemorate the organization’s 100 years of caring for the community, VNAHG has planned a number of events throughout the year culminating in a Centennial Celebration Gala to be held on historic Ellis Island the evening of June 23.  Gala Co-Chairs Lynn Spector and Ann Gargano, representing their fellow Co-Chairs Bill Spector, Tony Gargano and Robert and Kathy Dibble, welcomed committee members to the Spector’s Rumson home for “Bellinis and Brunch” on January 18 to kick off the countdown to this grand anniversary event.  

On June 23, Honorary Gala Chairmen The Honorable Brendan Byrne, The Honorable Thomas Kean and bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark will join revelers in the beautifully restored halls of Ellis Island, overlooking the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty to salute the vital work of VNA Health Group. The evening’s events will include dinner and dancing to the music of The Rhythm Shop.  In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to explore a special exhibit tracing the history of VNAHG, open to all Ellis Island visitors during the summer months.  Plus, a silent auction will offer a wide array of intriguing items from travel to jewelry, sure to entice potential bidders.  

During the course of the evening, dedicated volunteers and supporters of the VNAHG mission will also be honored, including Peter Carton. An esteemed attorney with the New Jersey firm Gibbons, P.C. and a respected community leader, Peter has continued his family’s long-time commitment to VNAHG through his years of invaluable assistance.  Catherine Carton, Peter’s mother, served as President of the VNAHG during the 1970’s.  

Proceeds from the gala will benefit VNA Health Group programs and services, helping to ensure that access to community-based care is a reality to all in need and providing care to the most vulnerable populations, the acutely and chronically ill, children with special needs, homebound elderly and the terminally ill.