Leadership Chair Brent Saunders (left) presents the Sparkle of Hope Hero's Award to Honoree Robert J. Hugin.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Lin

Former Marine Sergeant Nathanial Stokes, keynote speaker, (second from left) with (from right) Roger Gengaro, Immediate Past State Commander of the NJ American Legion; Jack Dunne, 2016-2017 State Project Manager of the NJ American Legion, and Robert Bascou, 2016-2017 Detachment Commander of the NJ Sons of the American Legion.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Lin

Nearly 900 supporters turned out for the 21st Annual Sparkle of Hope Gala to honor Robert J. Hugin, Executive Chairman of Celgene Corporation on October 11, 2017.

Leading this year's record-breaking event was Brent Saunders, Chairman, President and CEO of Allergan plc and Honorary Co-Chairs Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and CEO of Merck, and the Honorable Kim Guadagno, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, together with a prestigious list of pharmaceutical leaders. The Sparkle of Hope gala was founded in 1997 by pharmaceutical icon Fred Hassan and has since raised $12.5 million to benefit Community Hope's mission.

The gala set a record this year with $1.5 million raised, including $250,000 donated at the event to support our charity's veterans mental health campaign. With more than 20 former military members a day taking their own lives in the U.S., Community Hope is expanding mental health counseling and therapy at its largest veterans facility, the 95-bed Hope for Veterans transitional housing program.

The American Legion helped champion this campaign by raising nearly $100,000 to convert the pilot mental health initiative to a sustainable service for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress, anxiety and other invisible wounds of war. Recognized for leading this fundraising campaign and making homeless veterans a priority were the American Legion leaders pictured herein.

Community Hope also unveiled plans for expanding our supported housing for veterans. CEO J. Michael Armstrong announced at the event that construction of Phase II of Valley Brook Village will begin on the Lyons VA campus as early as January 2018.

The Gala Co-Chairs with Honoree Robert J. Hugin are (from right bottom row) Fred Hassan, Caret Group and Warburg Pincus; Al Bourla, Pfizer Inc; Terrie Curran, Celgene Corporation; Eileen Griffith, Community Hope Board Presiden; Neriman Botas, Eisail and J. Michael Armstrong, Community Hope CEO. From right top row are David Epstein, Rubius Therapeutics and Flagship Pioneering; Adam Schechter, Merck; Brent Saunders, Allergan plc; Mark Alles, Celgene; honoree Robert J.Hugin; Michael Mawby, Ferring Pharmaceuticals; Thomas Kendris, Novartis; and Kabir Nath, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

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