Family Connections honors Frank McGehee, area bank a ‘A Toast to Hope’

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EAST ORANGE, NJ — On Tuesday, May 10, Family Connections honored former Maplewood Mayor and current Committeeman Frank McGehee with the Roger Manshel Lifetime Achievement Award, and Valley National Bank with the Champion of the People Award.

Family Connections is a nonprofit organization that supports children, adults and families facing many of life’s toughest challenges, such as trauma, mental illness, addiction, domestic violence and child abuse. Proceeds from the event went toward Family Connections’ goal of serving 4,000 individuals and families throughout northern New Jersey. For more information, visit

In addition to the honorees, the night celebrated bright spots that Family Connections has experienced during the difficult pandemic, including: becoming an official certified community behavioral health center; the organization’s response to the social justice movement internally and externally; and Jacques Whitley, a high school junior who rode his bike across the country and raised more than $13,000 for Family Connections. Attendees at the event also got to hear from two Family Connections’ services consumers. 

“Hearing Family Connections’ consumers speak is always incredibly moving. Our consumers have often experienced immense trauma, and it is always inspiring to hear how their work in our programs has supported their healing,” Family Connections CEO Jacques Hryshko said.

Photos Courtesy of Family Connections