Rebuild Hoboken Gala raises over $500K
Non-profit event draws stars and high-bidders for Sandy relief
by Amanda Palasciano
Reporter staff writer
Feb 10, 2013 | 10067 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PRICEY CAKE – Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro Jr. rolled out a custom Hoboken cake with fine local detail. The cake auctioned for $7,000. Pictured behind Valastro are Bernard Kenny, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno.
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Rebuild Hoboken, a non-profit begun in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, held an upscale gala on Saturday night at the W Hotel. The fund was started to give money to Hoboken residents affected by the storm who had not been able to meet all of their needs through other relief.

Prior to the gala, Rebuild Hoboken set a goal of $1 million. With this new money raised, they are just below their target.

Haven Savings Bank, a sponsor of the event, donated $250,000 in the beginning of January.

Rebuild Hoboken committee chair Chris Mackin announced then that he and other volunteers would coordinate a VIP cocktail party. Other committee members for Rebuild Hoboken include the chairman, former Sen. Bernard Kenny, Vice Chair Larry Henriques, Treasurer Toni Tomarazzo, Board Secretary Scott Delea, and trustees Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Joe Mindak, and Msgr. Robert Meyer.

The event featured an open bar as well as food and desserts from local restaurants such as The Fig Tree, Sushi Lounge, and Madison Bar and Grill.


The gala was well-attended, seeing close to 400 attendees and some local celebrities. Among the stars were the Manzos of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro Jr., and Dancing with the Stars’ Anna Demidova. Board Chairman Bernard Kenny and Mayor Dawn Zimmer spoke at the beginning of the gala along with Lt Gov. Kim Guadagno, who quipped that she was acting governor that night, with Chris Christie out of the state.

Famed pianist ELEW took center stage midway through the night. Guests circled around the piano and marveled at his touching renditions of popular songs.

Soon after, Valastro rolled out a custom-made cake with very fine Hoboken detail which was auctioned off for $7,000. A silent auction was held outside of the gala room featuring items such as Lady Gaga tickets, portrait photography, designer bags, and much more. There was also a live auction where a Frank Sinatra lithograph, “Just One of Those Things,” brought in $10,000. A shopping spree to King’s went for $925 and a signed Eli Manning football earned $600.

The next steps for Rebuild Hoboken

Grants are now being assessed based on the amount of qualifying applicants through RebuildHoboken.Org. The money will be distributed in phases. During phase one, the group will disperse the dollars that were raised from November through Feburary equally among the total qualifying applicants. All who qualify (those with a net loss of $5,000 or more after other aid is deducted) will receive the same amount, not to exceed $5,000. Follow-up grants will be assessed based on money earned in subsequent phases.

Many thanks

The fund organizers said they would like to thank: Chris Mackin, Tracy Sandford, Andrea Sweeney, Susan Lorentzen, Erica Seitzman, Jackie Burton, Rory Chadwick, Alyssa Cellini, Alison Alexandre, Canaan Himmelbaum, Susan Pregibon, Anne Cleary, Geri Fallo, Amanda Dwyer, Erin Lenihan, Christopher Manzo, and the Rebuild Hoboken Board.

Also, volunteers ELEW, DeLauro, Justin Style, Tyler N Stevie, Eugene Flinn, Erin Youngerberg, Matt Meistrich, Alexis Walling, Katie McGee, Juliet Huddy, Albie Manzo, Carly Ringer, Georgia Luch, Lara Cohn, Stacey Warren, Michelle Mackin, Allison Driscoll, Yuvette Veres, Tammy Freeman, Debbie Freeman, Sandra Walczak, Katy Saunders, Derreck Fushino, Maryanne Serafin, and Mark Kazemi.

Also sponsors: Haven Savings Bank, The Robin Hood Foundation,Major League Baseball, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Hoboken University Medical Center and staff, Inserra Supermarkets Inc, Eli Manning, Pearson Charitable Foundation, CVS, Florio and Kenny LLC, Heal Hoboken/NJ Tech Meetup, Ironstate Development LLC, The Rockefeller Group, Union Dry Dock, St. Charles and the people of New Orleans, Court Street, Gables Residential, hMag, Hoboken Rotary, Hoboken Children’s Theater, Beth and Ricky Mason, Party with Purpose, Provident Bank, Frank “Pupie” Raia, Pegasus Real Estate Solutions, Frank Sinatra Enterprises LLC, Stevens Institute, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd, Yo Lo Tengo, The Systems Group LLC, Tisha Creative, Toll Brothers and John and Kathleen Wessling.

Finally, thanks for goods and services provided went to: DJ Chris Bachmann, Robert Lawrence Orchestra, managed by Susan Scherman, Carlos Bakery, BACARDI USA Inc, Bootlegger Vodka, Brolly Tea, The Brownstone, Esporao Wines and Olive Oils, THe Fig Tree, Flowers by Diane, Gianonne Wine and Liquor and Domaine Select Merchants, Productions by Gilad, Hoboken Beer & Soda Outlet, Hoboken Eddie, The Madison Bar and Grill, Nancy Hirsh, Peerless Beverage Company, Poppy and Posey Photography, Sushi Luonge and Taylor Rental Center.

Amanda Palasciano may be reached at

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