Splashdown to May 1 Friendship Circle Banquet

Celebrating the Dedication of the new Zero-Entry Pool

Livingston, NJ – The 2023 Friendship Circle of New Jersey Banquet will honor six extraordinary people whose longtime support enables magic to happen at LifeTown throughout the year: Mark DeFazio, president, CEO, and founder of Metropolitan Commercial Bank; Eugene Negrin, chairman, Galaxy Glass & Stone, in memory of his wife, Jane Negrin; Julie and Max Silbermann, local philanthropists; and a tribute in memory of Robert and Diane Goldberg.

“All of the amazing families, supporters, volunteers and staff make Friendship Circle what it is. We are so blessed to have a strong network of friends, who together make up a greater sum of the parts,” said Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, CEO of Friendship Circle of New Jersey and LifeTown.

This year’s annual banquet features one more unusual honoree: water—20,000 gallons of it, the amount needed to fill the LifeTown swimming pool. At this year’s banquet, the newest addition, a zero-entry pool, will be dedicated. Of course, like everything at LifeTown, the pool is anything but average.

The accessible zero-entry saltwater pool features interactive therapeutic play equipment, spray jets for aquatic therapy, an “endless pool” feature that provides a current, a desert air system to balance the air temperature in and out of the pool, and even a specially designed ceiling to manage the acoustics for sensory sensitivity.

The pool is named in memory of Robert and Diane Goldberg. Their son Michael and his wife Terri will accept a tribute in their memory.


Mark R. DeFazio, president, CEO, and a founder of Metropolitan Commercial Bank, is a longtime supporter of Friendship Circle and LifeTown.

Julie and Max Silbermann have been involved with Friendship Circle for more than 20 years, helping run the Soccer Circle program from its inception. More recently, they sponsored the tactile room at LifeTown.

Jane Negrin, of blessed memory, actively volunteered for Friendship Circle for a number of years. In her memory, her husband Eugene, who founded Galaxy Glass & Stone in 1978, created and donated the donor wall and custom mezzuzot at LifeTown. The extended Negrin family have become engaged with LifeTown.

Robert and Diane Goldberg learned about Friendship Circle when their grandchildren, now grown, started volunteering as teenagers. It became a family affair, and the Goldbergs continued to support Friendship Circle through the years. In addition to the pool, the family also dedicated the sensory wall at LifeTown.

The banquet will begin at 6 pm at LifeTown, 10 Microlab Road, Livingston, New Jersey.

For more information, or to register: www.fcnj.com/banquet.

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