Galabrochure2Our International Tasting Gala is FAMILYConnections’ signature fundraising event held each Spring. It is an Essex County fundraising favorite that benefits over 4000 area children, adults and families. Sponsored by the Board of Trustees, Gala fundraising supports FAMILYConnections’ 35+ behavioral health programs for all ages offering counseling, skills-building, training and prevention.

Each year, FAMILYConnections honors members of the community who give of themselves to improve the lives of others.


The following individuals have been honored as Champions of the People:

  • Richard J. Codey and Mary Jo Codey, Former NJ Governor and First Lady
  • Kevin Ryan, Former Commissioner, NJ Department of Children and Families
  • Shelden Ogilvy Pisani, Ph.D., Past President, FAMILYConnections Board of Trustees
  • The Honorable Paula T. Dow, former NJ Attorney General
  • Michael R. Griffinger, Esq., Gibbons PC
  • Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey
  • Toby Cooperman, Community Advocate
  • Chandra Wilson, star of Grey’s Anatomy 
  • Lawrence Rosen, Chairman, Cra-Z-Art


The following individuals have been honored for Lifetime Achievement:

  • Arthur Straussberg, Past President, FAMILYConnections Board of Trustees
  • Roger Manshel, Past President, FAMILYConnectons Board of Trustees
  • Paula Sabreen, FAMILYConnections Executive Director, (retired)


Auction PictureRead these Gala Journals and learn more about this fun-filled evening of music, fine food and wine.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a sponsor or advertiser for this event, please contact Nancy Wellbrock at or 973-323-3412.