Burgers & Brew was a night to remember. La Casa de Don Pedro’s annual fundraiser, held on Thursday, September 19,, 2019 at McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange, was filled with Latin rhythms, touching speeches, a variety of brews and fresh burgers grilled just right, and plenty of laughs with lots of opportunities to get out and dance, all overlooking the Orange Reservoir in the West Orange corner of the South Mountain Reservation.
La Casa de Don Pedro Board President, Arcelio Aponte, welcomed guests and thanked the generous donors who made the event possible. Richard Roper and Zoraya Lee-Hamlin, both Past Presidents of the Board, introduced the evening’s honoree, retiring Board Member Nicholas R. Scalera, for his 15 years of dedicated service to La Casa de Don Pedro.
An expert in youth & family services, licensing and nonprofit board management, Nick Scalera was director and assistant director of DYFS for 22 years and since 1995 has consulted to numerous private, youth and family service, community development and school based programs. A mentor to dozens of young men, Scalera has received countless honors and founded the Seton Hall University Scalera Scholarship Fund for academically qualified but economically needy students. Board members presented a donation to the scholarship fund in his honor.
Raymond Ocasio, La Casa Executive Director concluded with an appeal to encourage guests to give a little more to help sustain and strengthen the impact La Casa de Don Pedro has on more than 50,000 greater Newark residents each year through its comprehensive educational and social services and community development strategies.
The talented Orquesta Yanikeke livened up the crowd with their magnetic salsa and merengue, and Jimenez Tobacco rounded out the evening demonstrating the age old art of Cuban cigar rolling.
Thank you to Burgers and Brew sponsors:
Prudential Financial, Premiere Diamond Sponsor. Premiere Gold Sponsors: JPMorgan Chase & Co., M&T Bank, PSEG, Valley Bank. Bronze Sponsor: Wells Fargo. Friend Sponsors: McCarter & English, LLP, Thornton Agency, Withum. Fall Equinox Supporters: Hanini Group, JW Pierson, RWJ Barnabas-Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, LPL Financial, Russo Development, Rutgers University – Newark, Nicholas R. Scalera, Seton Hall University, TD Bank. Sunset Supporters: Capacity Benefits & Financial Services, EVCO Mechanical, Dawn Gammon. Dusk Supporters: The Basso/Healy Foundation, Colonial Life, Driscoll Foods, Tom Kelly, Lotus Equity Group, Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners, Orquesta Yanikeke, RayZo Marketing, Richard Roper, Security On Point, Inc., Norma Sessa, Joy Yagid Photography.