35th Annual Evening of the Stars Gala

On May 10th, supporters, partners, donors and friends gathered around to celebrate all who have continued to Help Build Great Futures at BGCN!


This year, we’ve reached 85 years of Great Futures here in Newark, and we're so grateful to have celebrated with you!


The event took place at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, NJ as we celebrated those who have provided support, encouragement, and so much positivity for our kids this year! Cocktails started at 6:00PM EDT. A fun night was had with shared moments of our past year, as we strived toward reaching our goal of $500,000!

Leading up to the event, we shared stories, links, photos, and videos about our young people, and issued important information related to our in-person event.

We were even able to celebrate our Youth of the Year, who was named the New Jersey Youth of the Year on the same night, going on to compete in the Regional Competition!


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On Wednesday, May 10th, in the middle of our dinner program for our 35th Annual gala in support of our Youth of the Year scholarship program, we received the news that our Youth of the Year was named New Jersey's State Youth of the Year for 2023!

What a way to wrap up the evening!

Genesis Parfait, HS Senior, has been a Club kid since the age of 7 and won runner-up for Youth of the Year twice. "Third time's a charm" as Genesis was named BGCN'sYouth of the Year  back in March. Genesis was unable to attend our EOS gala, as the state event was held the same night at Montclair State University. Genesis' mom was able to not only accept her award at our gala Wednesday night, but she was also able to read Genesis' speech in front of our event guests. The acceptance of the award was all the more special, as Genesis' mom was also a Club kid growing up.

We are so proud of Genesis' hard work preparing for this moment, seeing as that for the first time since 2009, a BGCN member will represent New Jersey for the Northeast Regional judging in June 2023, in NYC at the Yankees Headquarters.

Holding well over a 4.0 GPA, Genesis is definitely a force to be reckoned with! 

Congratulations, Genesis!


The Youth of the Year videos (all 5 segments) are now available on Xfinity On Demand through July 31. To access from the Xfinity Main Menu select -> OnDemand -> Xfinity Services -> Get Local and from there you will see a button with the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey logo. Select that button to view the video! You can also speak in to your Xfinity voice remote saying "Youth of the Year" to play hands free!


It's Not Too Late to Donate!

We're counting on your support to Build Great Futures! Be sure to follow us and stay tuned for more content post-Gala! Join us as we continue to celebrate future-building individuals with the following awards:


Youth of the Year Award 

In showing leadership potential and academic excellence, this award showcases one of our youth that have excelled in their growth and development.

Per our national branch, Youth of the Year is based around involving youth in various leadership experiences, which is an important part of the program. Clubs such as BGCN have a great deal of flexibility in how they implement Youth of the Year, so specific activities and experiences may vary, but the focus is always on making sure our youth are aware of leadership abilities they might not think they possess and cultivating them so that they learn what it means to be a leader.


Cynthia M. Banks Award for Caring


Stephen Gilbert & Lois Larkey

The Longest Serving Board Member and the First Female Board Member of BGCN!

This award is a tremendous honor given annually to outstanding individuals that selflessly gives time, talent and support to improve the lives of the children of BGCN. Join us as we honor this year's phenomenal co-recipients, Lois Larkey and Stephen Gilbert!

Lois Ann Larkey served as the 1st Female Board Member at the Club, working with youth in programs such as etiquette classes as well as serving on the Youth of the Year Committee!

Stephen A. Gilbert served on the Board of Trustees for 52 years, finally retiring back in 2022!

Thank you Lois and Stephen for your exceptional service to the Club!


William "Jazz" Jones Award Honoree

Shavar Jeffries


Shavar Jeffries has been an advocate for social justice and educational equity for more than two decades. He joined the KIPP Foundation as CEO in January 2023, a culmination of his many years as a champion for KIPP schools. Shavar was founding board chair of KIPP Newark in 2001; joined the KIPP Foundation Board in 2019; and is a proud KIPP parent, as his two children graduated from KIPP Spark Academy and KIPP Team Academy in Newark. His commitment to improving education stems directly from personal experience. As a first-generation college graduate, he understands implicitly the life-changing power of a high-quality education.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Shavar was President of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and its affiliate organization, Education Reform Now, where he led the organization in passing well over 100 policies at the federal and state level that expanded educational opportunities for low-income students of color. Throughout his career, Shavar has practiced law, worked as an assistant attorney general in New Jersey, and served as the elected president of the Newark school board. Among many career highlights, Shavar, as school-board president, led Newark Public Schools in implementing systemic changes that produced historic gains in student outcomes; as state assistant attorney general, executed a strategy shifting juveniles from detention centers to community-based programs that produced nation-leading reductions in recidivism; and, as a civil-rights lawyer, litigated numerous class-action cases that released hundreds of millions in education funding, rescinded racially discriminatory tracking of students of color to remedial classes, and provided special-education services to tens of thousands of children.

Shavar graduated from Duke University and Columbia Law School, where he concentrated on civil rights law and policy. He has been recognized broadly for his work—by the NAACP, the National Bar Association, and the Congressional Black Caucus, among others.

It's only right that an individual such as Shavar is recognized for their continuous commitment to initiatives that benefit organizations such as BGCN with the William "Jazz" Jones Award!

Run of Show


COCKTAILS | 5:30-7:15PM







HALF-PAGE AD | $1250

FULL-PAGE AD | $2500


*The deadline for ad journal submissions has passed. Stay tuned for information about our next EOS Gala in 2024!

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Thank you for coming out to an exciting evening as we Build Great Futures in Newark!