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State Theatre New Jersey 2024 Benefit Gala features performance by Jay Leno

originally published: 05/13/2024

State Theatre New Jersey 2024 Benefit Gala features performance by Jay Leno

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey will host its annual Benefit Gala on Saturday, June 8, 2024. The gala, whose proceeds are essential for STNJ to continue to make world-class arts programming affordable and accessible to individuals from all ages and backgrounds in our diverse New Brunswick community and beyond, will take place at the historic State Theatre. The evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction, and a performance by comedian Jay Leno.

Co-chaired by Wendy Wiebalk (State Theatre Vice Chair) and Steven Cahn, this year's State Theatre New Jersey Benefit Gala will recognize John Pulomena, County Administrator of Middlesex County, NJ, as their 2024 Arts Advocate Honoree alongside NAI DiLeo-Bram & Co. and The DiLeo Family Foundation as their 2024 Corporate Honorees.

“We are thrilled to co-chair this year’s Gala, to celebrate this historic venue, and support the impact it has within our New Jersey community and the broader region,” Gala Co-Chairs, Wendy Wiebalk and Steve Cahn. “As longtime supporters of State Theatre New Jersey and the arts, we look forward to celebrating the tireless efforts supporting the arts by John Pulomena, NAI DiLeo-Bram & Co., and The DiLeo Family Foundation.”

Inspired by mainstage entertainer Jay Leno's passion for classic cars, this year’s Gala features a 1950s-fabulous theme. Guests will be transported for an evening of retro charm and excitement from poodle skirts to leather jackets, sock hops to gourmet diner delights. The Gala festivities begin with a Cocktail & Dinner Reception at 5pm which will include live music by Shake Rattle & Roll Pianos, a silent auction with select signed memorabilia from some of STNJ’s top performances alongside curated experiences, delicious catering by Fritz’s, our annual awards, followed by a featured performance by Jay Leno on our main stage. After the performance, Gala guests can enjoy the Late-Night After Party featuring the Blaire Reinhard Band, dancing, signature cocktails, and late-night treats.

Gala tickets are $700. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For tickets, sponsorships, or more information, email

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John Pulomena is the County Administrator of Middlesex County, New Jersey; a position he has held for the past 15 years. Pulomena spearheads the management of overall operations at the County Government, which includes seven departments: Administration; Economic Development; Community Services; Finance; Infrastructure Management; Transportation; and Public Safety & Health. Prior to becoming the County Administrator, he served for 10 years as a member of the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners. Additionally, he was the Council President for the Borough of South Plainfield for nine years, as well as the Chair of the Middlesex County Planning Board for five years.

With a deep passion for technology, John Pulomena led a technological transformation at the County, introducing new technology platforms and business applications to modernize the way government conducts business. To that end, he is credited for bolstering the County’s fiscal health, helping to garner AAA bond ratings from S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investor Service—one of his greatest achievements. His sharp business acumen has positioned Middlesex County as a fiscal beacon in New Jersey, enabling game-changing investments in transportation, education, community services, and arts and culture. One of Mr. Pulomena’s signature achievements is the creation of the Cultural and Arts Trust Fund, adopted by voter referendum, which has positioned the County as the foremost governmental patron of the arts in New Jersey.

The DiLeo Family, through their Foundation and commercial real estate firm NAI DiLeo-Bram & Co. (NAIDB), have a tradition of supporting civic, community and professional organizations. At State Theatre of New Jersey, The DiLeo Family Foundation and NAI DiLeo-Bram are committed to seeing arts and education programming designed to inform and build future audiences. This is achieved through meaningful annual contributions to the general and capital campaign funds and more specifically, STNJ’s sensory-friendly programming.

The DiLeo Family Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) grant-making organization whose mission is to support charitable causes with a special focus in Central New Jersey. Established in 2018 by Ethel DiLeo, the Foundation honors the success and accomplishments of her husband Victor P. DiLeo, a prominent businessman in his hometown of Piscataway and a committed advocate of the local area throughout his life.

The Foundation operates as a multi-generational family organization that recognizes the critical role of community, supporting those charities that provide shelter, food and assistance to individuals and families in need, education and assistance to children with special needs and education access and programming for the arts.

NAI DiLeo-Bram & Co., a full service commercial real estate firm, has gained a reputation of excellence in the New Jersey commercial real estate industry for four generations. Successfully providing and advising clients with the highest standards of professionalism and expertise since 1937, NAIDB’s tradition of excellence is built on the quality of its relationships established with clients, which are firmly based upon a shared mutual trust and respect. These rich and sincere relationships have been the cornerstone for the firm’s success and will remain the foundation for the future.

Both family organizations are committed to championing charitable causes and the overall advancement of the communities in Central New Jersey.

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Jay Leno has captivated living rooms across the world for over 20 years with charisma, comedy, and charm as host of late-night television’s top-rated The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and now with Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC. A television icon, stand-up comedian, best-selling children’s book author, lovable TV and movie voice-over artist, pioneering car builder and mechanic, Leno has been deemed "the hardest working man in show business." He has been honored by the Television Academy with an Emmy® for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series and was inducted into the Television Academy’s Broadcast Hall of Fame.

Gala Information: All proceeds from the State Theatre New Jersey Gala help provide education and community engagement programs for children, families, and underserved residents and support the continued excellence of its world-class mainstage performances. A portion of each ticket price represents a tax-deductible contribution to the State Theatre. Benefit Gala tickets start at $700; sponsorship and advertising opportunities are also available. For more information or to reserve Benefit Gala tickets email

After major renovations, State Theatre New Jersey has reopened and celebrated its 100th Anniversary in December 2021 in a fully renovated theater including newly renovated lobbies, all new restrooms, upgraded HVAC systems, a new elevator for access to all levels, and brand-new theater seats. Originally built as a silent film and vaudeville palace, State Theatre’s historic significance was honored by PBS by featuring it in its documentary series, Treasures of New Jersey, in the fall of 2018. “Treasures of New Jersey: State Theatre New Jersey” can be streamed online.

Today, State Theatre is the largest performing arts center in Central New Jersey and has welcomed more than six million people through its doors since reopening as a nonprofit performing arts center in 1988. State Theatre New Jersey is a cornerstone of the cultural vitality of Middlesex County and averages a total economic impact on New Brunswick and the surrounding area of more than $18 million a year. The mainstage programs have featured high-caliber artists such as Diana Ross, Tom Jones, Kevin Hart, Ringo Starr, Melissa Etheridge, John Leguizamo, Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Krall, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Program offerings include Broadway, orchestra, family, dance, comedy, rock/pop, jazz, Performances for Schools, and Sensory-Friendly Performances.

State Theatre New Jersey’s programs are made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.



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