Gala to benefit health programs, hospitals

NEPTUNE — The 18th annual Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations’ Gala, “Building a Better Future,” will take place from 6-11 p.m. Nov. 21 at Ocean Place Resort & Spa, 1 Ocean Blvd., Long Branch.

The signature fundraising event will benefit Meridian’s not-for-profit hospitals and community health programs in both Monmouth and Ocean counties.

This year’s gala will honor Emily Hovnanian while celebrating the 10th anniversary of the transformational gift she and her late husband, Kevork, made to Meridian to name K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital.

“I can speak on behalf of the entire Hovnanian family when I say we are humbled to have Emily as our mom. She and our father, Kevork, taught us the value of community and generosity early on and what it means to share for the betterment of others,” said Lucy Kalian, daughter of Emily and Kevork and co-chair of the event, in a press release. “We couldn’t be more excited to chair this event, honor our amazing mother, and help raise critical funds for Meridian Health.”

Additional co-chairs include the Hovnanian’s children and spouses, James and Esto Barry, Ara and Rachel Hovnanian, Mazin Kalian, Dr. Tavit and Sossie Najarian, and Dr. Roberto and Nadia Rodriguez.

Tickets are $450 each and include a cocktail reception, dinner, dessert display and music by The Rhythm Shop. Guests can also enjoy a silent auction and 50/50 cash raffle. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, contact Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations at 732-751-5112 or visit