meridian john lloydRecord amount raised to support health programs in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

PHOTO: John K. Lloyd, FACHE, president and CEO of Meridian Health speaks at the Gala in praise of the honoree.

NEPTUNE, NJ - The Eighteenth Annual Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations’ Gala, Building a Better Future, took place on Saturday, November 21 at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch. This signature fundraising event raised over $720,000, a record in the event’s 18-year history, which will benefit Meridian's not-for-profit hospitals and community health programs throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties.

The Gala honored Monmouth County resident, Mrs. Emily Hovnanian, while celebrating the tenth anniversary of the transformational gift Emily and her late husband Kevork made to Meridian to name K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. The Hovnanians’ historic gift continues to have a profound impact on our community, ensuring access to advanced pediatric clinical care services for our youngest patients.

“I will never forget the day Kevork came home, beaming with happiness, to tell me he wanted to name the children’s hospital,” explained event honoree, Emily Hovnanian. “I know that if he were here to join me at the Gala, he’d be so humbled by this incredible honor and overjoyed to see what an amazing place K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital has become.”

The event was co-chaired by the Hovnanian’s children and spouses, James and Esto Barry, Ara and Rachel Hovnanian, Mazin and Lucy Kalian, Dr. Tavit and Sossie Najarian, and Dr. Roberto and Nadia Rodriguez. The co-chairs played a vital role in planning the event, especially carrying out the unique “Building a Better Future” theme that paid homage to their late father’s profession.

“I couldn’t have dreamt of a more perfect evening,” shared John K. Lloyd, FACHE, president and CEO of Meridian Health. “Because Emily and her family inspire so many others through their generosity, we were able to surpass our goals for the evening helping to ensure Meridian Health can continue to provide the best care possible to the communities we serve.”

The Gala was sponsored by generous donors, including OceanFirst Bank and EmCare, Inc., Cocktail Reception Sponsors, and Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., C.R. Bard and Turner Construction, Decoration Sponsors. To make a donation to Meridian Health Foundation, please visit