Since 1989 Eden Dreams has been a major benefit event on Eden's annual calendar of activities. The January gala always bears a theme of a time or place that guests can visit only through their imaginations or - for this one evening - through Eden Dreams. The gala marked its 20th anniversary this year with "Dreams of La Masquerade," Saturday, January 26, at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.
In the grand ballroom, transformed to capture the beauty anda mystery of a Ventian masked Carnevale by Jennifer Angelo Design of Willow Grove, PA, actors bedecked in costumes designed by Marie Matthews circulated with guests and later in the evening performed an interactive drama "In Search of Incantato," written and directed by event co-chair Janet Quartarone. Lynn Shakin of Princeton won the annual Dream Search puzzle. Her prize? Two round-trip first-class tickets to anywhere in the world, compliments of Continental Airlines.
Wendy Prior of Monroe Township won an 18k white gold diamond pendant and white gold cable chain donated by Hamilton Jewelers for the Masked Jewel Raffle. The silent auction also touted plenty of bling by Avis USA Diamond (thus the dour security guard standing by the display area). One of the most coveted items was a Yankees three-game package with field box seats for the 2008 season,the last one the Yanks will play in `The House that Ruth Built." Value? Priceless.
This year's gala was dedicated to opera star Beverly Sills, who died this year and had been honorary co-chair of the gala since its inception in 1989, and whose son resides in an Eden group home. It was also dedicated to Lucille Bongiovanni, who had served on Eden fundraising committees for many years.
The gala raised $150,000, which will benefit the Eden Family of Services, dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with autism since 1975.