Barry Manilow

Recently, bergenPAC celebrated its 8th Annual Gala and raised funds to benefit the planned renovations of the newly acquired home for The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC - 1 Depot Square. The hugely successful event, sponsored by Benzel Busch, featured an elaborate cocktail reception and dinner, outstanding company, and a special performance by musical icon Barry Manilow.

The funds raised at the Gala will allow for renovations of The Performing Arts School that are critical to its growth as it continues to expand programming and offer state of the art facilities to all those enrolled. To date, bergenPAC's Arts Education and Community Outreach programs have reached more than 50,000 students annually.

Speaking live on the microphone during his performance, Mr. Manilow expressed his delight at being asked to perform at the Gala and the positive impact music has had on his own life: "I was very happy to learn that proceeds from this show were going to support the BergenPAC Performing Arts School. Music can change your life. It did mine.” The Gala dinner and dessert were provided by The Kitchen and, in a show of charity consistent with the spirit of the night, extra food was donated to Table to Table, a local community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve the hungry in Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic counties.

Claire Insalata Poulos, President of Table to Table, spoke on behalf of the organization and thanked bergenPAC for its commitment to those in need within the local community. “On behalf of Table to Table, I want to express our thanks for the incredible generosity of bergenPAC. It is rare that we receive food of this caliber, delectable short ribs, salmon plates and the like, and are thrilled to be able to share it with so many people in need.”

“The bergenPAC Gala is our biggest annual event—raising money to support our performing arts school, award recognized arts education programs, and world-class live entertainment. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who helped in making the evening a huge success. The money raised will help ensure that bergenPAC can continue its mission to provide great performances and arts education programs to people throughout Northern New Jersey” said Edmondo Schwartz, Chairman of bergenPAC.

bergenPAC would like to extend a gracious thank-you to the Gala committee, Mrs. Kelli Agresta, Mrs. Michelle Oropeza and Mr. Bernie Koster, whose dedication and hard work made the gala event and reception the event of the season! Additionally, a big thank you to the City of Englewood, The Kitchen, Alpine Country Club, Dean Street Greenery and Pro Valet Parking for their services and support in making this event a terrific success!

bergenPAC is located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, NJ 07631.
Phone: (201) 227-1030 or visit