On the early evening of July 2nd, the ballroom at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale, hosted over 500 guests for Ocean First Foundation's 10th Annual Central New Jersey Scholarship Awards Dinner.
The event began with a cocktail hour where many guests enjoyed the mild summer evening weather on the outside balcony. As guests moved into the main banquet room to be seated, the positive energy was palpable.
The program began with a warm welcome and opening remarks from Joseph J. Lebel III, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, OceanFirst Bank. Next was the Pledge of Allegiance and the invocation. Guests enjoyed dinner while listening to speeches from David Stout President, Brookdale Community College, Matthew Manfra Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Georgian Court University, Lori Thomas Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Georgian Court University Gary Dimenna, President, Monmouth University, Dr. Jon Larson, President, Ocean County College.
Each college and university was recognized separately; Brookdale Community College, Ocean County College, Georgian Court University, and Monmouth University. The smiles were many, as hundreds of proud parents and family members watched 140 teens walk to the front of the banquet room to be acknowledged as official scholarship recipients. The evening was a true example of corporate philanthropy and a community coming together to support higher education for our youth. OceanFirst Foundation is making a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of college students each year. Over the last nine years, OceanFirst has awarded $2.2 million to more than 1,500 students from central and southern New Jersey.