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New Providence Diversity Committee Holds Annual Dinner

Jason Cohen

Saturday, December 1, 2012 • 10:41pm

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - One of the greatest things about America is its diversity.  On Saturday evening, Dec. 1, New Providence's Diversity Committee held its second annual Potluck Dinner, showcasing the Borough's diversity. 

The goal of the organization is to share backgrounds, be a positive influence and be a resource for diversity needs within the community. The Committee also attempts to hold an event each month pertaining to a different culture.

The Potluck Dinner took place at the New Providence Senior Center and about 70 people attended, which doubled last year’s attendance.  There were three tables of delicious entrees, appetizers, desserts and drinks. Additionally, many people brought food from their native homeland.  The event featured ice breakers to learn about each other’s cultures, games for kids, bingo and diversity jeopardy.

Coppola's Restaurant and Bellariva Pizzeria supported the Diversity Dinner with generous food donations.  Other local businesses like Avenue Deli, Fan Bistro, Jose's Mexican Cantina and Smash Burger showed their support with gift certificates. Committee members Sunil Abrol, Jane George, Yelena Khusid and Lucia  Leao organized the event with additional support from Peggy Brodeur of the Senior Center and Marilyn Feldman.  Council President Michael Gennaro, and Councilmen Armand Gallucio and Alan Lesnewich attended the event, as well.

Diversity Committee President Sunil Abrol, who has lived in New Providence for 15 years, said he really loves the community. He has been on the Committee for a little over a year and thinks it’s a valuable asset to the Borough.

“I really got involved because I think diversity matters,” Abrol said.

Abrol said in a multicultural town like New Providence, it’s important for people to understand each other. He said he hopes the dinner is successful and more people will become involved in the future.

Fellow committee member Marjan Nirou Saniee said the event was a great way to bring the community together. When she first moved to New Providence 23 years ago, there was only one Persian family, but today there are five.

“I believe in celebrating the diversity of New Providence,” she said.

Borough Council Liaison to the Committee, Gennaro said New Providence has become more diverse over the years and, as a result, a group like this is important to the town.

“It’s a group that I think the borough’s particularly proud of,” Gennaro said. “We’re glad that we have them and we think they serve a definite purpose in town.”

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