Wednesday, May 26, 2010


On May 22, the State Theatre Benefit Gala 2010, That’s Entertainment! A Las Vegas Experience featuring Lynda Carter honored Dr. Norman Reitman and raised $520,000 for the nonprofit performing arts center. Additionally, the State Theatre distributed its first “Leadership in the Arts Award” to retiring president Wesley Brustad. The Gala festivities, which included dinner and dancing at The Heldrich hotel, also included an authentic casino experience with a variety of gaming tables, raffles, and opportunities to win prizes.

The Gala Chairs were Ann. H. Asbaty, Senior Vice President, National Accounts, CIGNA, and Efrem B. Dlugacz, Vice President, Total Rewards and Health Resources, Johnson & Johnson.

“An incredible Gala Committee and Theatre staff with the support of our individual patrons and corporate sponsors created the magic again. The beneficiaries, of course, are the arts in Central New Jersey and the educations programs sponsored by the State Theatre,” commented Gala co-chairs Efrem Dlugacz and Ann Asbaty.

“In a time when special event attendance and funding seem to be waning, we were thrilled to be busting at the seams in The Heldrich hotel. The State Theatre grossed over half a million dollars with this event, allowing the Theatre to finish its fiscal year solidly in the black. This was in no small part due to Dr. Norman Reitman, our honoree of the evening. If ever there was a man who symbolizes all that is good about New Brunswick and its environs, it is Dr. Reitman. We were proud to stand with him in service to our community,” added Wes Brustad, State Theatre President & CEO.

Brustad, who is retiring this year, was also presented with an award at this year’s Gala. The State Theatre Board of Trustees awarded Brustad with a “Leadership Award in the Arts” award for his years of service to the arts community in New Jersey and around the country.

More than 550 patrons attended the Black-Tie Dinner Dance at New Brunswick’s The Heldrich hotel. Among the attendees were community, arts, business and civic leaders from central New Jersey and around the state.

The State Theatre Benefit Gala 2010 committee included (Trustee Vice Chairman/Gala Co-chair) Ann H. Asbaty of Randolph; (Trustee/Gala Co-chair) Efrem B. Dlugacz of Princeton; Madiha Boraie and Karla Brustad of Milltown; Diane Garback of North Brunswick; Cathy Gombas of East Brunswick; (Trustee) Bill Herman of Clifton; Carolyn and Dave Horn of Hillsborough; (Trustee)Patricia Howard of Manalapan; (Trustee Chairman) Andrew J. Markey of Basking Ridge; Hon. Cathy Nicola of North Brunswick; (Trustee Treasurer) Morton Plawner of Monroe Twp; and Lisa Rapolas of Somerset.

The State Theatre Benefit Gala 2010 Honoree was Dr. Norman Reitman. Dr. Reitman, an alumnus of both Rutgers College and NYU Medical School, has been a patron of the State Theatre since its doors opened in 1921. After starting his medical practice in 1938, Reitman developed a solo practice into Cardiology Associates of New Brunswick, a partnership of 11 physicians.

Thank you to all the sponsors that made this happen, including ACS, a Xerox Company; BNY Mellon; CIGNA; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies; PSE&G, Russell and Stephanie Deyo; Mercer; and Towers Watson; to name a few.

Photo by Kyle D. Barker.

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