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Village People star at Algonquin Arts Theatre's Fundraiser Gala

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Algonquin Arts Theatre will honor Manasquan Elks Lodge 2534 (Community Service Award), John Newman & Kevin Sarte (Humanitarian Award) and Jill Dargeon (Arts Education Award) on June 5 at “That 70s Gala Featuring Village People.”

The largest annual fundraiser for Algonquin Arts Theatre, “That 70s Gala” will support the theatre’s main stage and educationally programming which includes great performances and classes year round. The Gala includes a silent auction, multiple live auctions, a super 50/50 raffle and a dine around raffle.

Following the cocktail hour and dinner at Remington’s or Blend on Main for top level ticket holders, the program moves inside the theatre. The honorees will be recognized in Act I, with the “Kings of Disco” Village People taking the stage for Act II.

The 2014 Humanitarian Award will recognize Wall residents John Newman and Kevin Sarte, owners of Bouquets to Remember in Manasquan, for their commitment to the Algonquin and the Manasquan community.

Newman is a Wall High School graduate who ran his family’s lawn and garden business on Sea Girt Avenue. He founded Bouquets to Remember in Wall in 1995 and in 2003, with his partner and co-owner Kevin Sarte, moved his business to Main Street in Manasquan. Newman returned to the post of president of the Manasquan Chamber of Commerce this year, previously serving in that capacity from 2005 to 2011.

A veteran of many of the Shore’s best community theatre groups, Newman has continued acting and singing on the Algonquin stage, including his one man show ‘Bouquets & Ballads’ which combines his love of singing and flower arranging. He joined the Algonquin Arts Theatre board of directors in 2008 and served as president of the board from 2009 to 2013. During his tenure, the theatre completed the purchase of the theatre building from Fran & Jack Drew and also began producing its own musicals and plays.

Sarte, a North Plainfield native, developed his love of the Jersey Shore during summers in Lavallette. He currently teaches Social Studies and Technology Lab at Edgar Middle School in Metuchen and has previously held teaching positions at Spring Lake Heights Elementary School and Wall High School.

Since his early days, Sarte has been an avid fan and supporter of the theater. Although not one to be the center of attention, or stage presence, he is more than happy to involve himself in the backstage and supportive roles to help see that the show does go on! He refers to himself as part of the “two-for” package the theatre gained when Newman joined the Board. His support for the Algonquin includes designing and remodeling the space in the theatre building that houses the theatre’s administrative offices.

Sarte has always taken an active leadership role in the groups he has been involved in, including V.P., and Treasurer of the Metuchen Education Association. He has served in the capacity as leader to many clubs at his school and is currently the Student Activities Treasurer, and Yearbook Advisor. His involvement at his church included many positions from church treasurer to President of the Trustees.
Manasquan Elks Lodge 2534 receives the 2014 Community Service Award for their charitable and service work in the community and for their long history of supporting the theatre.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks serve the people and communities through various benevolent programs managed by the National, State and local Elks organizations. Manasquan Lodge #2534 is a part of the Southeast District of the New Jersey State Elks Association and currently has over 1230 members.

Manasquan Lodge #2534 are one of the premier charitable organizations in our community, giving more than $566,000 this past year to community organizations last year., a 20 percent increase over the prior year. The total includes more than $40,000 in cash relief to help with recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of Sandy.

Jill Dargeon of Brick – formerly of Sea Girt – will be presented with the Education Award as a true ambassador of the theatre who supports our mission of life-long education by bringing hundreds of patrons to the theatre.

Dargeon grew up in New York and spent her summers in Sea Girt in what became her family’s permanent home in the late 1960s. Her father served as Chairman of the Pediatrics Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and her mother taught French at the Dalton School.

She discovered her passion at age 5 after she saw the movie “Song of the South” and throughout her school years continued to develop her love for the performing arts. She served as president of the Drama Club at Connecticut College and took her first job assisting the Education Director of the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre & Academy in Stratford, Conn.

She then worked on the television series The Defenders as a production assistant and then switched to the talent agency side representing authors and actors including the great James Earl Jones and author of The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje.

She left show business after her mother’s death, and worked various jobs before landing at Sea Girt Elementary School 10 years ago. It was here that she re-discovered the Algonquin, a movie theatre she attended as child. She quickly became an advocate, educating community members both young and not young about the arts and bringing in hundreds of new patrons from Princeton Commons in Brick where she currently resides.

The 2014 Gala chairs are Randy Kornberg of PNC Wealth Management in Red Bank and Manasquan Councilman Michael Sinneck, and Dara Brown, an anchor and senior producer for NBC’s family of networks, returns to serve as emcee.

Before May 15, discounted tickets for the event are available ranging in price from $50 to $175. Prices will increase to $55 to $195 after that date. Top level tickets include fine dining at either Blend on Main or Remington’s as well as a post-show reception with Village People. To order or for more information call 732-528-9211 or visit algonquinarts.org/gala. The gala will include raffles, a silent auction, live auctions and much more!

Selling more than 100 million recordings, Village People were an instant phenomenon in the 1970s and 1980s with hits “San Francisco,” “In Hollywood,” “Macho Man,” “YMCA,” “In the Navy,” “Can't Stop the Music” and more. They continue to perform around the world to this day and just last summer released a new single to their show: “Let's Go Back to the Dance Floor.”

Date:
Thursday, June 5 (Pre-Show Events Begin at 5 p.m. for top level tickets; 7 p.m. for all others)

Location:
Algonquin Arts Theatre
173 Main Street, Manasquan, N.J.

Tickets (Prices Increase After May 15):
All Access VIP: $175 ($195 after May 15)
Premium Dinner: $150 ($165 after May 15)
Preferred: $75 ($85 after May 15)
Performance: $50 ($55 after May 15)

Information:
Call 732-528-9211 or visit algonquinarts.org/gala

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