Gala Dinner Dance Raises Money For Library Renovation

PERTH AMBOY—On Sunday, April 11, the start of National Library Week, a gala dinner dance hosted by the Perth Amboy Library Board of Trustees under the umbrella of the CPA/SOCL, was held at the Raritan Yacht Club on Water Street in Perth Amboy.  The purpose of the event was to raise money for the renovation and expansion of the Perth Amboy Free Public Library, one of the remaining Carnegie Libraries still in use.

Chairman Jim Woller, President Barbara Sottilaro and Councilman Robert Sottilaro welcomed attendees to this affair. Woller said “one of the purposes of having this affair was to show the world that the community was behind this project.”


The turnout was “diverse” and oversubscribed” with people calling as late as Saturday afternoon asking to attend.  The Middlesex County Freeholders had already voted to give Perth Amboy $325,000 for historic preservation and restoration, plus an additional $100,000 for windows to be completed this summer.  Mayor Wilda Diaz spoke of her commitment to the library and the urgent need to renovate and expand the facility.

Woller introduced the trustees and thanked everyone for their generosity and their attendance and thanked Barbara and Bob Sottilaro who worked hard to make this event a success. Woller, as chairman, in addition to designing the invitations, contributed his artistic rendition of the library which was displayed on the first page of the program.  His original picture was framed and auctioned to the audience later.

Karen Kubulak, chair of the CPA/SOCL, also welcomed and introduced prominent people in the audience, with special mention of the generosity and hard work of John Bolton of Chevron.

Jorge and Brandis Riba, entertained the audience with a demonstration of the tango.  Later Jorge Riba invited Diaz to join him in a meringue, and then concluded the dance with a surprised and delighted Barbara Sottilaro and Anna Mascenik. They continued to entertain throughout the evening with a cha cha, lindy, line dances, etc.  Kurt Epps supplied the music giving special attention to Perth Amboy natives, Linda and Manny Cruz and County Clerk Elaine Flynn.

Throughout the night and afterward, people exclaimed about the success of the affair and what a great time they were having and what a good job the committee did in organizing this affair. Woller, chair of the event estimated that approximately $11,000 was raised, but he did not yet have the final count.

Future affairs to raise money for the library are the “Dancing with the Stars” on May 19, to be held at the Armory on Front Street in Perth Amboy, and “A Taste of Perth Amboy” on June 10, at the ZPA on Grace Street for more information contact Karen Kubulak at

Mayor Wilda Diaz dancing with instructor Jorge Reba

Jorge and Crandis Reba

Hershel Chomsky

Robert and Barbara Sottilaro

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