Donate Fundraise Sparkle of Hope

27th Annual Community Hope Sparkle of Hope Gala
Held in Support of Homeless Veterans and Adults with Mental Illness

December 6, 2023

Parsippany, NJ – Community Hope’s Sparkle of Hope Gala returned to the Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, NJ for its second year back as an in-person event after the hiatus caused by the pandemic. The gala, which took place on November 15, 2023 at 5:30 p.m., welcomed over 600 guests in the sumptuous setting of the Legacy Castle, where food and drink were in abundance. The gala was founded in 1997 as a fundraiser for Community Hope’s vital work helping those affected by severe mental illness as well as veterans and their families. Every year, Community Hope helps over 1,000 individuals rise above homelessness and poverty in our transitional housing and supportive services programs. The gala is one of the largest fundraising events in New Jersey and is crucial to the ongoing success of Community Hope’s programs.

This year’s event was led by Fred Hassan, Chairman of the Caret Group and Director, Warburg Pincus and Brenton L. Saunders, Chairman and CEO, Bausch + Lomb. Community Hope was proud to present the 2023 Sparkle of Hope Award to Adam Schechter, Chairman, President, and CEO of LabCorp. Mr. Schechter was granted the award in recognition of his support for Community Hope and his many achievements in the field of healthcare.

Since its founding in 1997, the annual Sparkle of Hope gala has raised more than $20 million. It continues to unite the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and related industries in support of Community Hope’s mission. This year’s gala welcomed one of the largest crowds the event has ever seen in the 27 years since Fred Hassan founded the event to link the community-based services of Community Hope with the pharmaceutical industry’s advances in treating mental illness.

The 2023 Sparkle of Hope Gala Chairs and Honorary Co-Chairs for the gala Aaron Graff, Executive Vice President and CCO, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Joseph C. Papa, Retired Chairman and CEO, Bausch + Lomb, Chairman, SparingVision, Courtney Billington, Head, Government Affairs North America, Johnson & Johnson, Olivier Bogillot, Head of US General Medicine, Sanofi, Robert A. Bradway, Chairman & CEO, Amgen, Victor Bulto, President, Innovative Medicines US, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Terrie Curran, CEO and President, Phathom Pharmaceuticals, Kenneth C. Frazier, Executive Chairman, Merck & Co., Adele Gulfo, CEO Biopharma Commercial, Sumitomo Pharma America, Anna Kazanchyn, Founder and CEO, Saghmos Therapeutics, William J. Lewis, JD, Chairman & CEO, Insmed, Mark McKenna, Former Chairman and CEO, Prometheus Biosciences, Tarek Rabah, Chief Executive Officer, Otsuka America, Inc., and Brent Ragans, President, Ferring U.S.

The evening offered ample opportunity for attendees to meet and greet one another. A buffet dinner was followed by a presentation in the ballroom. In addition to the speeches given by Community Hope Chief Executive Officer, Carmine V. Deo, Mr. Hassan, Mr. Saunders and Mr. Schechter, the audience was treated to a video that had been shot at Community Hope’s flagship veterans transitional housing program in Lyons, Somerset County. The video featured three veterans who live at the Hope for Veterans program, and who, in the video, talked about their experiences there. The audiovisual offering lent a unique sparkle to the evening.

A particularly high point of the evening was the speech given by a veteran from the Hope for Veterans program, named Aaron. After being welcomed with a standing ovation by all 700 guests, he reflected upon his experiences with Community Hope and the life-changing support he has been offered on a daily basis. Aaron’s speech earned overwhelming applause from the crowded ballroom, which collectively showed support for Community Hope’s vital work in the community and with homeless veterans.

The Sparkle of Hope is truly the highlight of the year for Community Hope. We are honored that so many individuals and worldwide companies choose to support our mission, says Carmine Deo, Community Hope CEO. We are forever grateful to Fred and Noreen Hassan and Brent Saunders for their dedication to the Sparkle of Hope this year, and for the past 27 years, and their active involvement in all aspects of the Gala.

The Sparkle of Hope gala is one of the high points of Community Hope’s year. Preparations are already underway for the 2024 gala, which will be honoring Robert Davis, Chairman and CEO, Merck, and promises to be just as spectacular as this year’s event.

About Community Hope: Community Hope, a New Jersey non-profit organization, provides over 1,000 individuals with mental illness, as well as veterans and their families, with life-changing support and services to allow them to stay out of hospitals and off the streets every year. Established in 1985, Community Hope afforded transitional housing to five individuals who had recently been discharged from psychiatric hospitalizations. Since then, the organization has touched the lives of thousands of individuals, helping them rise above illness, poverty, and homelessness, and achieve their dreams of safe, stable, and affordable housing.

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