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Newark Public Library Pays Tribute to Supporters and Community Leaders at Booked for the Evening Gala
September 24, 2008
Media only, please contact:
Heidi Cramer at 973-733-7837

Three outstanding local educators, who have had an impact on Newark students from preschool through college, are among the honorees to be feted by the Newark Public Library, Thursday, November 13, 2008, at its annual Booked for the Evening fundraising dinner at Nanina’s in the Park.

The salute will pay tribute to former Library Board President and executive director of the Newark Day Center Trish Morris-Yamba of South Orange and her husband Essex County College President A. Zachary Yamba. Honorees also include longtime supporters of Newark and the library: former Newark Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marion A. Bolden, Andrea and Warren Grover of Short Hills, and McCarter & English, the oldest and largest law firm based in New Jersey and headquartered in Newark.

Dennis M. Bone of Madison, president of Verizon New Jersey, will chair the event. Recognized for his strong commitment to literacy and education, Bone is the chairman of New Jersey’s State Council on Adult Literacy and Education Service. He also serves on the board of trustees of Liberty Science Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New Jersey Network, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“I am delighted to serve as dinner chairman for the Newark Public Library’s signature fundraising event, Booked for the Evening. Verizon’s commitment to literacy and to the Newark community makes us proud to support one of the city’s oldest educational institutions,” Bone said.

“Each year we look forward to this festive evening and the opportunity to single out those members of our community who have a deep and lasting commitment to the Newark Public Library and recognize its importance to the City of Newark and the State of New Jersey,” said Library Director Wilma Grey.

Ms. Morris-Yamba is the executive director of the Newark Day Center, the oldest social service agency in Newark. A current member of the library’s Board of Trustees, she is immediate past president. She is also former chair of the Commission on the Status of Women in Newark and first vice president of the National Congress of Black Women.

Appointed the fifth president of Essex County College in 1980, Dr. Yamba is the longest serving college president in New Jersey. In the ensuing 28 years, the school has expanded significantly to include a gymnasium, child development center, high tech lecture halls, and the Clara Dasher Student Center at the main campus in Newark. The college also now includes a branch campus in West Caldwell and the Essex County College Police Academy in Cedar Grove. Along with his colleagues, Yamba has worked to revitalize the city through the Council on Higher Education in Newark (CHEN).

As superintendent in the Newark schools from 1999 until June, 2008, Dr. Bolden presided over the largest school district in the state with approximately 44,000 students. During her tenure the district made significant strides with the construction of new schools and improvements in instructional areas measured by the state. She initiated the Write Ticket Literacy Program that established a systemic reading and writing program across all grade levels.

A former direct mail business owner in Elizabeth, honoree Warren Grover is a founding member of the Newark History Society, former president of the Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest and author of Nazis in Newark, the story of how the Minutemen, a mixed band of Jewish hoodlums, boxers and college boys, fought against a local gathering of Nazis in the days leading up to World War II. His wife, Andrea, is an adjunct professor of humanities at New York University where she has taught Italian cultural history and Italian Jewish history for 23 years. The Grovers met at the Newark Public Library.

Founded in Newark in 1844, McCarter & English is one of the largest law firms in the country with 400 lawyers. The firm also has offices in Boston, Hartford, Stamford, New York City, Philadelphia and Wilmington. Frank Ferruggia, a tax and litigation attorney at the firm, will accept the library award on behalf of his colleagues. Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for the 2006 and 2007 editions, he is a member of the New Jersey, New York and District of Columbia Bar Associations and a member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation. He is the author of several articles that have been published in the Journal of Property Tax Management.

“The Newark Public Library holds a distinguished place in the history of this city. Whether it’s fostering the simplest joy of learning to read in children or holding a special place in Philip Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus, the library makes Newark great. McCarter & English, a firm that has held its own special place in Newark for more than a century, is honored to support the library in all of its successful efforts,” noted Ferruggia.

Booked for the Evening will be held at Nanina’s in the Park, 540 Mill Street, Belleville. It will begin with a cocktail reception from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tickets range from $250 for individual guests to $20,000 for a gold table sponsor. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the library’s Annual Fund. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call CDK Events Management at 973-696-3783 or email

The Newark Public Library is New Jersey’s largest institution of its kind with a collection of more than 1.5 million books, audio and visual materials and a unique collection of prints, posters and historical documents.


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