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The Ashley Lauren Foundation’s 7th Annual Butterfly Ball

Enjoy “The Fabulous Forties” at Spring Lake Golf Club

Guests will be transported back in time to enjoy all the fun and sounds of “The Fabulous Forties” at the 7th annual Butterfly Ball on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Spring Lake Golf Club in Spring Lake, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Visions of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin will adorn this fun-filled event, which will provide an opportunity for attendees to enjoy an evening of fine food, drink and entertainment all while raising funds for and increasing awareness of The Ashley Lauren Foundation’s (ALF) mission of providing Hope & Help for Children with Cancer in New Jersey. The Ed Conte Orchestra will provide the music and guests will be able to bid on fun and unique auction items, as well as try their luck with the Mega 50/50 (tickets are available now).

Monica Vermeulen, ALF Founder/CEO stated, “This is an evening not to be missed. We have many exciting things planned for the Ball. The Butterfly Ball serves as our largest fundraiser of the year to raise money for the many, many children we assist throughout the State of New Jersey. We are very happy to announce our 2018 Honorees. Our honorees have been extremely instrumental in helping us with our mission.”

The Hope Award will be presented to Jeremy Grunin, who has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the private sector where he managed teams of 1000+ employees responsible for over half a billion dollars in revenue. Since 2013, Jeremy has been actively engaged throughout the community as President of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, a proactive grant maker focused on economic growth at the Central Jersey Shore. Jeremy is a Partner of Grunin Holdings, LLC., a New Jersey Partnership specializing in the development and management of commercial real estate, as well as investing in third party commercial ventures. In addition, Jeremy is the co-host of Topic A talk radio show every Sunday morning on 92.7 WOBM from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. Jeremy resides in Toms River with his wife, Laura, and three children, Joshua, Rebecca and Emma.

Jeremy’s Foundation, Advisory and Board Directorships include: Chairman of United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties; Chairman of the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Advisory Board Member of the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU School of Law; Executive Board Member of Ocean County College Foundation; Executive Board Member and Former Chair of the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce; Trustee of Count Basie Theatre; Trustee of Community Medical Center; Trustee of Fulfill (formerly The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean); Board Member of Community Medical Center Foundation; Board Member of Ocean County Vocational Technical School/ Performing Arts Academy; Board Member of Ocean County Military Support Committee; Appointed Member to Ocean County Tourism and Business Development Advisory Council; Board Member of Council of New Jersey Grantmakers; Board Member Emeritus of Arts and Education Center; Advisory Board Member of Toms River Regional Schools High School Career Academy; Advisory Board Member of The Ammon Foundation; Co-Chairman of mindALIGNED Steering Committee; and Committee Member of Ocean County Culture and Heritage Commission.

The Humanitarian Award will be presented to Joe Leone, who is the owner/operator of Joe Leone’s Italian Specialties, Catering, Gastronomia and Bakery in Point Pleasant Beach and Sea Girt. Joe opened the flagship retail store in Point Pleasant Beach on June 2, 1997. The marriage of traditional and modern Italian cuisines, developed in his retail markets and introduced by Joe has given the Jersey Shore educational exposure to the Italian culture. Joe is dedicated and passionate to the culinary excellence, superior customer service and love of food at the Jersey Shore.

The love of food overflows into the community. Joe has become a well-known local humanitarian who doesn’t care for the spotlight on himself and tends to shift the spotlight to more deserving organizations and places that need emergency action. To name a few organizations that Joe is continuously sharing information and teaching others about are: L’Aquila Earthquake Relief Fund; One Strong Family mission; spreading the message of F.A.M.I.L.Y.® (Forget About Me I Love You); Common Ground Grief Center; Covenant House of New Jersey; Fulfill; formally Foodbank of Monmouth & Ocean County; and several local fundraising efforts.

Proudly, Joe, the love of his life and their five children live in Brielle, and all play large supporting roles at both locations for Joe Leone’s Italian Specialties and Catering.

The Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to Lori Kirsch, who has been a dedicated volunteer for The Ashley Lauren Foundation for the past four years. She had previously volunteered for the Cancer Concern Center in Point Pleasant Beach. Lori was involved in the fundraising efforts of The American Cancer Society and later chaired the Hope Lounge Event. She was on the committee for the Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Sweetheart Ball for many years and has volunteered at JSUMC K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital for the past seven years. Lori and her husband Eric, who reside in Morganville, have received numerous awards for their support of Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

The goal of The Ashley Lauren Foundation is to ease the journey when pediatric cancer is diagnosed by providing direct financial assistance (household bills, medications not paid through medical insurance, traveling expenses to and from hospitals, funeral expenses, etc.); material assistance (food, clothing, household items); emotional support (for the entire family); seasonal parties for the children and their families (Spring Party at the Boardwalk, Summerfest, Harvest Party, and Holiday Party); advocacy; “Making Dreams Come True” Program; Birthday Brigade (gifts, cake, balloons delivered personally to each child); special outings; hospital parties; holiday fifts for the children and anything else that is needed to make their lives easier and bring smiles to their faces.

For more details about the 7th annual Butterfly Ball, sponsorship and ad book opportunities, go to or call The Ashley Lauren Foundation office at 732-414-1625.

*Downloadable Forms are below for your convenience

General Interest Form

Letter of Request

Sponsorship Form

Ad Journal Contract

Auction Donor Form

Hope Menu Form


2018-02-22T18:08:45+00:00 December 12th, 2017|ALF Happenings, Upcoming Events|0 Comments

The Ashley Lauren Foundation Appoints Serena DiMaso to Board of Directors

The Ashley Lauren Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Serena DiMaso to its Board of Directors.

The Foundation, based out of Spring Lake, and serving all of New Jersey, provides financial assistance, emotional support and many other programs to children and families suffering from the hardships of pediatric cancer.

Founder and CEO Monica Vermeulen states, “We are honored to have Serena DiMaso join our Board. Serena brings a tremendous amount of experience which will help to further our mission of helping children with cancer.”

DiMaso is currently serving her third elected term on the Board of Chosen Freeholders. She is   liaison to the Office of Emergency Management, Workforce Development, Superintendent of Schools, Tourism, Division of Reclamation, Division of Weights & Measures, Improvement Authority and the Shade Tree Commission. DiMaso serves as the Freeholder representative on the County’s Planning Board and the Mosquito Control Advisory Board. DiMaso served on the Holmdel Township Committee for ten years, including five years as Mayor. She serves on the Meridian Hospital’s Corporation Board of Trustees, is Chairwoman of the Bayshore Hospital Foundation and is an active member of the Holmdel First Aid Squad. Serena is also a Board member of the National Foundation for Women Legislators.

Serena participated in The Ashley Lauren Foundation’s Butterfly Ball competition “Dancing For Our Stars” in February 2017. She states, “What a fun way to help raise the money needed to carry out the important work of the Foundation.”

“The Ashley Lauren Foundation does so much for children battling cancer and their families,” says DiMaso. “It is my privilege to join this great group and do what I can to advance their mission of bringing hope and help for children with cancer.”

The Ashley Lauren Foundation’s Board of Directors are: Monica Vermeulen, Founder and CEO; Thomas Corley, Vice President and Treasurer; Carolyn Walker, Secretary; Lou Russo, Trustee; Howard Levine, Trustee; Lou Bernardo, Trustee; Carolyn Burtnick, Trustee; Serena DiMaso, Trustee; Tom Arnone, Trustee; Nancy Kolakowski, Program Director/Family Liaison; Mary Spano Gleckner, Family Liaison; and Nancy Wendt, Family Liaison.


2017-06-28T12:36:24+00:00 June 28th, 2017|ALF Happenings|0 Comments