Middlesex County College to Host Scholarship Gala: An Evening of Magic

Middlesex alumnus Alex Perricone ’11

Middlesex alumnus Alex Perricone ’11

EDISON — “The Magic of Middlesex Scholarship Gala” will be held Saturday March 3, an evening that will include a performance by illusionist David Garrity, delicious food and drink, and tributes to a local corporation and two distinguished individuals.

“It’s going to be a wonderful evening and a fun event honoring advocates of the College, all to support the success of students at Middlesex County College,” said Patrick Madama, vice president for institutional advancement.

The program will be in the College Center on the Middlesex County College campus in Edison and will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets at $295 are available by calling 1-732-906-2564.

The corporate honoree is Wells Fargo, the alumna of the year is Joanne Fillweber and Professor Xenia Balabkins will receive the Spirit of Middlesex award.

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services corporation providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance.

“We’re very happy to have Wells Fargo as our corporate honoree,” Madama said. “They have been a true friend and very supportive of the College for years.”

A 1982 graduate of Middlesex County College, Joanne Fillweber is in the Corporate Contributions Department at Johnson & Johnson where she implements philanthropic leadership and management programs in the United States and all over the world.

“Johnson & Johnson has been a wonderful supporter of the College for a very long time,” Madama said. “Joanne takes a special interest in assuring that her alma mater helps students interested in health careers. We are very proud of Joanne’s success.”

Professor Xenia Balabkins has taught in the Accounting, Business and Legal Studies Department since 1985.

“Xenia has been an avid supporter of the Middlesex County College Foundation, serving on the Scholarship Golf Committee and helping to attract support from other organizations as well,” Madama said.

David Garrity will perform his fast-paced brand of magic that mixes comedy with illusion. He will also perform strolling magic during the cocktail and dining party.

In keeping with the theme of the evening, Middlesex alumnus Alex Perricone ’11 (Avenel) will also perform. Last spring, Perricone, who goes by the nickname “Cardman,” created Card City, a spectacular display of card stacking. He takes thousands of normal playing cards and stacks them, creating intricate designs, some that go seven feet high. He doesn’t fold the cards or use glue or tape, just balances them on top of each other.

“He’s going to create a new Card City, and one of the items in the silent auction will be the privilege of knocking it down,” Madama said. Perricone will also perform card magic during the function.

“There’s a serious aspect of the Scholarship Gala because it allows us to honor a terrific corporation and two wonderful individuals, plus it helps in providing merit- and need-based scholarships,” Madama said. “But it is also going to be a lot of fun.”

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