Cory Booker, Laurie Tisch, Buscemi for Jersey: NYC Scene

New Jersey pulled off a fundraising hat trick in Manhattan last night, and then some.

Newark mayor Cory A. Booker courted donations for his 2014 senate campaign at the Fifth Avenue apartment of Laurie Tisch, whose almost second home, as an owner of the New York Giants, is the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Guests included the Giants’ Victor Cruz and Jane Hartley, chief executive officer of Observatory Group LLC.

Caesars Atlantic City was lead sponsor of “Adults in Toyland -- Casino Night Gaming for a Cause.” The event at the Plaza Hotel raised more than $700,000 for the Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at NYU Langone Medical Center.

At the cocktail party for New Jersey Needs You, which is based in Jersey City and mentors first-generation college students, guests could actually see the Garden State. The event took place at Jack Studios in the Starrett-Lehigh Building, whose windows face west to the Hudson River.

Two days earlier the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation’s Texas Hold ’Em Poker Tournament brought Atlantic City gaming to the pub Stout on West 33rd Street.

Fighting Hunger

Chef Tom Colicchio, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, helped raise awareness of hunger in the U.S. with the Feb. 27 screening of “A Place at the Table.” Colicchio is executive producer of the documentary, which his wife, Lori Silverbush, co-directed.

Guests included actors Jeff Bridges and Matt Dillon, Lou Reed and Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show.”

“I really liked the film,” said actor Steve Buscemi, star of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” “I hope it really gets exposure because this is an important issue. I hope Congress gets to see it.”

The New Jersey Needs You gathering probably had the biggest number of Garden State cheerleaders, among them Mark Savino, who works at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and grew up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and Joseph Gasparro, associate director at UBS AG in the financial-institutions group, who has an MBA from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

“My goal is to open up all the secrets to getting a job and building a career after college,” Gasparro, a co-chairman of the Young Leadership Board said. “How to interview, what to wear -- we also buy them a suit.” A favored brand is Charles Tyrwhitt.

The program is modeled after New York Needs You, founded by Robert Reffkin, who recently left Goldman Sachs to start a hyperlocal search company called Urban Compass.

Labor Market

The major difference between the New Jersey and New York programs is the labor market.

“The students in New York are interested in finance and consulting,” Pauly Rodney, executive director of New Jersey Needs You, said. “In New Jersey they’re interested in engineering, STEM and pharma.”

The program has launched with 25 students and plans to add another 25 in June. The cost for mentoring each student is $2,300 a year, Rodney said.

The gaming nights ended with great prizes. At Adults in Toyland, Gabe Kellermeyer, project manager of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, won a trip to Atlantic City.

“There are a lot of women around Gabe who want to be his best friend right now,” said the event’s emcee, Jeff Rossen, investigative correspondent for NBC.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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