2018 SOPAC Gala celebrates community, local luminaries

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The South Orange Performing Arts Center will celebrate the countless contributions of community leaders Samuel Convissor, Dan Arrighi and Sam Joseph at its 2018 gala on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 11 p.m. They will be honored for their long-time philanthropy and activism that have added immeasurably to the success of SOPAC and the local community. The legendary Grammy Award-winning Judy Collins, of “Send in the Clowns” fame, will provide entertainment for gala attendees.

Another music legend and activist, South Orange resident Dionne Warwick, will also be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to SOPAC and local New Jersey communities. Her impact on both the music industry and the many charities she has supported throughout the country are enormous.

Born in Newark, Convissor is an active and well-known humanitarian and has always been involved in the not-for-profit volunteer community. He served for 40 years on the board of trustees and as vice chairman of the board of the Children’s Aid Society of New York City. Among his many volunteer activities, he has served as chairman of the board of the National Office of Social Responsibility and was an active member of various committees of the National Urban League and the United Negro College Fund. As a resident of South Orange since 1966, Convissor has served with distinction with several community groups and was president of Main Street South Orange from 1997 to 1999. A long-time supporter of SOPAC, Convissor has helped to underwrite a series of concerts featuring students from the Juilliard School.

Arrighi retired in March 2016, after a 35-year career at Chubb Insurance Group. He was senior vice president responsible for Chubb’s commercial insurance branches throughout Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Arrighi served for many years on the board of governors of the South Orange Performing Arts Center. He also served on the board of Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey for 10 years, including four years as president of the board; CPNJ serves children and adults with developmental disabilities through early intervention programs, schools, group homes and adult training centers.

Joseph is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties. He has received numerous honors for his success, but most importantly Joseph enjoys giving back to the community. His philanthropic endeavors have included numerous beautification and public relations projects in South Orange and Glen Ridge. Joseph served on the South Orange Board of Adjustments as well as the boards of Main Street South Orange and the South Orange Village Center Alliance for a number of years. Joseph and Arrighi have underwritten a variety of performances at SOPAC.

Scintillating, soothing and sensual best describe the familiar and legendary voice of five-time Grammy Award-winning music legend Dionne Warwick, who has become a cornerstone of American pop music and culture. Warwick’s career, spanning more than 50 years, has established her as an international music icon and concert act. Over that time, she has earned 75 charted hit songs and sold more than 100 million records. Always one to give back, Warwick has supported and campaigned for many causes and charities close to her heart, including AIDS, The Starlight Foundation, children’s hospitals, world hunger, disaster relief and music education, for which she has been recognized and honored and has raised millions of dollars.

The gala evening includes cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres, strolling dinner stations and dessert in SOPAC’s famed three-story lobby, theater and loft spaces. There will also be silent and live auctions.

Due to an overwhelming demand for tickets, there is only a limited supply remaining. To purchase tickets, contact Katelyn Fatzler at 973-712-4102. For more information visit www.sopacnow.org/support/gala/.

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