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Restaurant Gala Mission

Gala Student Check Presentation 2024The Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala was established in 1984 to raise scholarship funds for students in the state’s largest culinary school, the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College. The Academy opened in 1981 to prepare highly skilled workers for the growing regional hospitality industry and has graduated over 4,000 students. All proceeds go to the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charity organization, and support scholarships for ACA students and Foundation operations.

Party with a purpose! Since its inception in 1984, the Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala has raised well over $4 million for student scholarships.  Your participation and support enables the Atlantic Cape Foundation to continue to support worthy culinary arts students and Foundation operations.  Thank you for your support!

For more information about the Restaurant Gala, please contact Kristin Jackson at or (609) 463-3621.

Restaurant Gala Committee


  • Terry Budd '78 - Retired, Atlantic Cape Community College and Foundation Board member
  • Deb Pellegrino ’92 - Executive Director ChefBorgata Hotel Casino & Spa


  • Ed Blake (Honorary Member) - Blake & Associates
  • Leigh Chairman - Spencers Gifts
  • Fran Coppola - Historic Towne of Smithville
  • Karen Dalbora '92 - Renault Winery & Resort
  • Rebecca Guerrasio - Crest Savings Bank
  • Sandi Harvey, retired, Visit Atlantic City
  • James Hennessey '00 - Aramark, Lincoln Financial Field
  • Greg Koshland - Caesars Entertainment
  • Chris Lee '98 - Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
  • Janet Markowitz - Chester's Plant and Flowers
  • Chef Joseph Massaglia - Mama Mia's Ristorante
  • Mila McDonough - Diversified Property Management, Inc
  • Hugh Turner - Ocean Casino Resort
  • John "Scannicchio" Varalli - Scannicchio's Restaurant
  • Sybil Victor - Atlantic City Fire Department
  • Dennis Vrba - Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
  • Kailin Wise '03 - Ocean Casino Resort


  • Laura Batchelor - Executive Director, Marketing & College Relations
  • Yessenia Garcia - Social Media and CRM Manager
  • Deena Happersett - Graphic Designer, Marketing & College Relations
  • Kristin Jackson '09 - Senior Manager, Advancement, Alumni, & Foundation Events 
  • Nicole Thompson - Advertising & Marketing Manager
  • Edward Yesko '95 - Webmaster
  • David Zuba '18 - Public Relations Manager and Copywriter


  • Dr. Barbara Gaba - Atlantic Cape Community College President
  • James Rutala - President, Atlantic Cape Foundation
  • Jean McAlister - Executive Director, Atlantic Cape Foundation
  • Christopher Mularz '01 - Associate Director, Atlantic Cape Foundation
  • Joseph Sheridan '96 - Director, Academy of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management
  • Jeffrey Wenzel - Associate Director, Atlantic Cape Foundation
ACA Student Group
Gala Stilt Walker
ACA Students and Faculty