St. Joseph Plaza was in full bloom for New Community Corporation’s 2016 Spring Festival and Auction on April 23.
The elegant church converted into the headquarters of NCC played host to the annual fundraiser, which supports the Monsignor William J. Linder Scholarship Fund. Scholarship recipient Natasha Wisdom, a junior at Christ the King Preparatory School in Newark, highlighted the evening by expressing gratitude to Monsignor Linder for supporting her academic career.
“If it weren’t for the Monsignor William J. Linder Scholarship, my dreams and accomplishments would have been delayed,” said Wisdom, a Newark resident who volunteered at Spring Festival with her mother and older sister.
“I would like to give the utmost thank you to Monsignor and New Community Corporation for being a great help funding me as I continue to accomplish my goals throughout the schools I have attended,” she added. The scholarship fund, established by NCC’s founder, financially assists local high school students, like Wisdom, to be able to afford attending competitive prep schools in the region.
New Community employees, residents and guests filled St. Joseph Plaza for an evening of dinner, dancing and prizes that this year included an Apple Watch and a pair of tickets to the McDonald’s Gospelfest plus dinner at Vonda’s Kitchen.
Jason Dossantos, of the Harrison-based Cole Painting and Wallpaper, won the 1st prize Samsung 60” Smart LCD TV. Dossantos is a contractor who works with the department of Environmental Services. Jeanette Morales, data entry manager at Environmental Services, won the 2nd prize Apple iPad Air 2. Director of Nursing Veronica Onwunaka celebrated when her sister, Christiana Ibeh, won the 50/50 cash raffle, which totaled $225. More than a dozen other Spring Festival attendees took home prizes as well.
The evening was fueled with deejay music that covered every decade—oldies but goodies to current top 40 songs. Of course, there was special tribute paid to music legend Prince, who died on April 21 at age 57.
Spring Festival has traditionally been held at the New Community Neighborhood Center on Hayes Street and this year, with the change in venue, the evening took on a fresh new flavor. Elegant centerpieces and table cloths graced each table as pastel-colored lanterns suspended from above floated over the dancing crowds.