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In celebration of Raritan Valley Community College’s 50th Anniversary, the RVCC Foundation hosted the Golden Harvest Gala on October 25 at The Palace at Somerset Park. Close to 500 members of the community gathered together to celebrate RVCC’s record of academic excellence, innovation, and unparalleled student success.

The Gala raised more than $320,000 in net revenue. Proceeds will provide the resources the College needs to meet the growing demand for scholarship support; to build and support state-of-the-art facilities and upgrade technology; and to provide other programs and services that benefit RVCC students and faculty and members of the larger community.

In his opening remarks, RVCC President Michael J. McDonough said, “Tonight, we come together to celebrate 50 years of remarkable achievement and to imagine an even more glorious future for our College…. We come together to salute RVCC’s singular and inspiring purpose: an ever-expansive commitment to access, to academic excellence, and to affordability…. We come together to applaud what our communities have achieved: a College of opportunity, a beacon of hope for all.”

The Gala also honored community partners whose investments in the institution and creative collaborations with the College’s faculty and students have advanced RVCC’s mission and earned the College national recognition for academic innovation and excellence, diversity and inclusion, civic engagement, environmental sustainability, and more.

The four distinguished honorees included Steve Kalafer, Founding Chairman, Flemington Car & Truck Country Family of Brands, and the Somerset Patriots (Civic Leader); Raymond L. Hughes II, President, New Jersey Risk Managers and Consultants, Inc., and President, Hughes-Plumer & Associates (Community Leader); Johnson & Johnson (Corporate Partner); and Martin Luther King Youth Center (Nonprofit Partner).

RVCC student leaders Sebastian Galvez of Manville, Kaeley Ipson of Branchburg, Raina Naveed of Green Brook, and RVCC alum Patricia Sanchez of Flemington introduced each of the honorees. RVCC student Alyssa Darden of Philipsburg shared remarks about how she overcame great obstacles to pursue her dream to receive a college education.

NJ State Senator Kip Bateman read a State proclamation honoring this significant milestone in the College’s history and shared personal reflections about RVCC, where his father, the late Senator Ray Bateman, served for more than 30 years on the College Board of Trustees. NJ State Assemblyman Roy Freiman spoke of the integral role the College plays in the life of the community.

Gold Benefactor sponsors included Flemington Car & Truck Country Family of Brands, and Somerset Patriots; Irene B. Hughes and Family; NJM Insurance Group; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital–Somerset | RWJBarnabas Health; and Sanofi. Visionary sponsors included Clinton Honda and Land Rover of Princeton; LPC Family Office; ShopRite of Hunterdon County; and Socialfix. Other major sponsors included President’s Circle: Affinity Federal Credit Union; Jack and Melinda Ciattarelli; Johnson & Johnson; Suplee, Clooney & Co.; KRE Group / Murray Kushner and Family; and The Provident Bank Foundation. Patron sponsor was Margaret Windrem and Alfred J. Gaburo.

RVCC Foundation Board members and Golden Harvest Gala Committee Co-Chairs Vince Cirianni of Bridgewater and Stacey Kimmins of Martinsville acknowledged the hard work of the Gala Committee that met for over a year.

To read about the Golden Harvest Gala and view the videos of the four honorees and the film, The First Fifty, by filmmaker Harry Hillard, an RVCC adjunct professor, visit

RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit