Benefit Concert Raises $160,000 For Children’s Specialized Hospital

MOUNTAINSIDE–Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation hosted its annual Umbrella Gala on last month at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair with a special performance by Don Felder, former lead guitarist of the rock group The Eagles.

Over 300 hundred guests filled the seats and raised over $160,000 to fund the renovation and opening of a brand-new outpatient center in Toms River, to better serve children with special needs in Ocean and Monmouth County. The center will offer physical, speech, and occupational therapy. The statewide hospital serves more than 4,000 children from these two counties alone.


Marcus A. Borden, founder of the annual high school all-star football game the Snapple Bowl, was honored for his deep commitment to the patients at Children’s Specialized Hospital, their families and hospital programs. For the past 17 years, Borden and the Snapple Bowl have raised over $350,000 to benefit the patients and programs of Children’s Specialized Hospital and the Lakeview School in Edison. This year, the event donated $42,000 to the two charities, the highest amount yet.

“Marcus is a person of great character and vision,” said Joe Rosamilia, a retired business owner who was among the first supporters and encouraged Snapple to back the event years ago. “No one was doing this kind of partnership back then, and Marcus had this new idea and followed through completely. He’s an extraordinary person, and he’s helped thousands of kids through the Snapple Bowl.”

Chaired by Foundation trustees Stella Matteace-Esposito, of PNC Wealth Management, and Jeff Rosen, the event was the first charity concert held at the Wellmont Theatre.

“This was a terrific evening to benefit an important cause,” said Rosen. “Don Felder put on an incredible show and we were glad to see so many supporters turn out tonight.”

Jim Monaghan, radio personality from the WDHA morning show, served as master of ceremonies for the event. Top sponsors like L’Oreal USA, BASF, and C.R. Bard joined guests for an evening of entertainment, silent auction, and dinner. An impromptu live auction of two of Felder’s guitars, autographed by the performer, fetched $6,000 for the hospital. Donors also made specific donations to sponsor a child in therapy services, or fund equipment, raising $16,000. An additional $5,000 was generated as the result of general admission ticket sales to the concert.

Rosen and Matteace-Esposito were joined by gala committee members Michael Harrison, Esq., Karen Hess, Tom Kay, Thomas Koestler, Ph.D., Alison Tankel, Elaine Bauer, Anita Siegel and Sueanne Korn; Philip Salerno III, and Alexander R. Giaquinto, Ph.D.

Children’s Specialized Hospital patients Mackenzie and Michael Wight of Jackson meet Don Felder with their parents Nicole and Aaron.

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