‘A Taste of NJ’s Best’ celebrates great cause with fine food

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EAST ORANGE, NJ — FAMILYConnections recently honored James Laird, award-winning chef of Chatham’s Restaurant Serenade, and former Maplewood Mayor Ellen M. Davenport at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston during “A Taste of NJ’s Best.” Laird received FAMILYConnections’ 2017 Champion of the People Award for his work in mentoring young people. Davenport received FAMILYConnections’ 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award as a past president of the organization’s board of trustees and for her longtime service to the community.

“The evening was a tremendous success,” FAMILYConnections Executive Director Jacques Hryshko said in a press release. “I thank everyone who took part in this celebration — our honorees, the restaurants who generously donated food and our attendees. This year, over 275 people attended this tasting event offering music, wine and the finest food!”

A Taste of NJ’s Best is an Essex County fundraising favorite that benefits more than 4,000 area children, adults and families. Funds raised support FAMILYConnections’ 35-plus behavioral health programs for all ages, offering counseling, skills-building, training and prevention. To learn more about FAMILYConnections, visit www.familyconnectionsnj.org.