Savoring the Success of The HOPE Center's 10th Annual "Feast of Hope" Chef's Night

The HOPE Center joined hands with the Toms River community for an evening of culinary delights, live entertainment, raffles and giveaways all in support of The HOPE Center's mission of making a difference in people's lives in the community.
The HOPE Center's Feast of HOPE Event
The HOPE Center's Feast of HOPE Event
TOMS RIVER, N.J. - Nov. 3, 2023 - PRLog -- On Monday, October 16th, a culinary celebration took center stage as The HOPE Center marked a decade of heartwarming tradition at the 10th Annual "Feast of Hope" Chef's Night. The sold-out event took place at the Clarion Hotel in Toms River, NJ.

The evening began as Amy VanBezooijen, Executive Director of The HOPE Center shared a few words. "As we gather here tonight in support of The HOPE Center, I'm deeply moved by the sense of community and compassion in this room. In a world where the need for hope and assistance is ever growing, your support and commitment make all the difference. Thank you for being a part of our mission and for allowing us to bring hope to those who need it the most."

Following Amy's initial words, the event continued with a few kind words from Liam O'Flynn, Board of Trustees Chair, a heartfelt prayer from Pastor Robbie Ytterberg, Ex-Officio and testimonials from two members of The HOPE Center community who shared their personal stories of the profound impact The HOPE Center has had on their lives.

"Feast of Hope" transcends the realm of delectable cuisine, it embodies the incredible unity of our sponsors and local food establishments who came together to create a lasting impact. "It is with immense gratitude that we extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them for their unwavering support and contributions," noted VanBezooijen.

Special thanks to the following food establishments who made this culinary journey unforgettable: All Star Bagel, Bubbakoo's Burritos, Buffalo Wild Wings, Capone's Gourmet Pizza & Pasta, Chef Mike's ABG, DRJ Catering, Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Harrogate Senior Living Community, OB-CO's Donuts, Red Rose Bakery, Roxy's, Roy Rogers, Salad House, Schiano's, A Taste of the Islands and The Clarion.

The evening was further enriched by the performances of First Call, an incredibly talented duo featuring Richie Kraus, a saxophone master and electronic music producer, and Christine Kephart, a dynamic vocalist and classically trained flutist. Their music added a touch of magic to the night.

"We are profoundly grateful to our sponsors who made this event possible," stated VanBezooijen. Sponsors included: Presbyterian Church of Toms River, The Wintrode Family Foundation, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Design 446, Ocean County College Foundation, Carl's Fencing, and Shorely Blessed Outer Banks Vacation Rentals.

As The HOPE Center looks to the future, upcoming events include:
  • Gifts of Warmth – November 4th
  • November Meal Distribution – November 15th
  • Holiday Meal Distribution – December 20th
  • Star Light Star Bright Event/Operation BBQ Relief – December 15th

In these upcoming initiatives, The HOPE Center continues their mission of making a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need it most, and are grateful for the continued support of their sponsors and community partners.

Together, we are cultivating a more flavorful future for our community, one dish and one act of kindness at a time.

The HOPE Center is located at 253 Chestnut Street in Toms River. To learn more or for volunteer opportunities, visit

About The HOPE Center
The HOPE Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization initiated by the Clergy Association of Greater Toms River. Within a place of hope and faith, the mission of The HOPE Center is to serve families in crisis with dignity and compassion, providing for their basic human needs, and striving to empower each person to achieve his or her greatest level of self-sufficiency. Current hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 3pm. To reach The HOPE Center, call 732-341-4447. After 4pm, for emergency services, please call 211.

Brianna Veltre
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