News
 
September 15, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Julia Bey Ahmet
973-463-9600 (x303)

Community Hope to Honor Celgene Chairman and CEO Dr. Sol Barer and Somerset Hills YMCA President Robert Lomauro At October 21st Gala

Charity Event to Aid Homeless Veterans and Individuals in Recovery from Mental Illness

      Community Hope will honor Dr. Sol Barer, Chairman and CEO of the Celgene Corporation, and Robert Lomauro, President and CEO of the Somerset Hills YMCA, at its Sparkle of Hope Dinner Auction on Tuesday, October 21, 2008.  The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany, New Jersey.

     The annual charity event benefits Community Hope’s residential programs serving hundreds of young adults and individuals in recovery from mental illness and substance abuse, including the nationally-recognized Hope for Veterans Program for homeless veterans.  Proceeds from the 2008 event will help support a new wing at the veterans program; an initiative offering family support to those returning home after hospitalization and newly-opened residences on the former Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital campus.

     Fred Hassan, Chairman and CEO of the Schering-Plough Corporation, who founded the charity event in 1997, reported that more than $350,000 has been raised thus far toward the goal of $500,000.

      Joining Mr. Hassan in chairing this year’s gala are Ludwig Hanston, Head, Pharma North America and CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; David Norton, Company Group Chairman of the Pharmaceuticals Group, Johnson & Johnson; Cavan M. Redmond, President of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare; and Timothy Rothwell, Chairman of sanofi-aventis U.S.

     Dr. Barer is being recognized for his contributions to the pharmaceutical industry and the resulting advancements in the treatment of blood cancer and other critical diseases. After leading Celgene’s research and development efforts from the company’s founding in 1987, Dr. Barer served as President from October 1993 to May 1, 2006.  He was elected Chairman of the Board of Celgene in December of 2006, and has served as Chief Executive Officer since May 1, 2006.  Dr. Barer also serves on the Board of Directors of PhRMA and the Board of the Brooklyn College Foundation and the Board of BioNJ.  He is also a trustee of Rutgers University. 

     Receiving the Community Partner Award will be Robert Lomauro, President and CEO of the Somerset Hills YMCA in Basking Ridge, NJ, for the past fourteen years.  Since 2004, the YMCA has donated all proceeds of its Annual Flag Day 5K Run to Community Hope’s Hope for Veterans Program.  Lomauro has devoted nearly 35 years of service to the YMCA movement.  Under his leadership, the Somerset Hills YMCA has grow from 4,500 members in 1994 to over 20,000 today; opened three new satellite facilities in neighboring communities and recently expanded its flagship facility from 40,000 to 85,000 square feet.

     "We are proud to recognize these two outstanding individuals whose contributions to the treatment of chronic illness and dedication to our veterans have improved the lives of so many,” said J. Michael Armstrong, Community Hope Executive Director.  “Our charity could not have successfully aided individuals in their recovery without the commitment and dedication that these honorees exemplify.”

     Armstrong reported that “generous support for the Sparkle of Hope charity event has enabled Community Hope to serve nearly six times as many individuals since 2001.”
The gala activities include a raffle drawing for vacation packages; a 50/50 cash raffle and a silent auction featuring original artwork and autographed sports memorabilia.  In addition, guests can participate in a raffle for chances to win nearly fifty other prizes.

      Community Hope is one of the largest residential programs for young adults, homeless veterans and individuals with mental illness in New Jersey.  The nonprofit organization serves nearly 250 individuals with residential programs under development to serve as many as 300 individuals in recovery.

      Event sponsors help to make the Sparkle of Hope Dinner possible.  The top-tier Presenting Sponsors are Celgene Corporation; the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; sanofi-aventis and Schering-Plough Corporation and the Diamond Sponsors are Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Grey Group; Lowenstein Sandler PC and Wyeth.

     Table prices range from $5,000 to $25,000.  Individual tickets can be purchased for $140 per person.  The event is business-attire.

     For more information on the Sparkle of Hope Dinner Auction, visit the events section of the website at www.communityhope-nj.org or call the Community Hope Development Office at (973) 463-9600, extension 308.

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