Catherine Rust, General Manager of the Centenary Stage Company, will be honored as this year’s “Distinguished Friend of The House” at the House of the Good Shepherd’s Annual Wine & Dine fundraiser on Thursday, April 7. Longtime House staff member, Christine Garofalo, will also be honored for her dedication, compassion and enthusiasm as an ambassador for The House.
The event features many of the area’s finest restaurants offering tastings of their culinary delights, a great selection of wines and live music featuring the Grover Kemble Trio. It all starts with a cocktail hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m., followed by the food, music and a silent auction from 6:30 to 8 p.m. All those in attendance will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 “dining out” package.
Rust is active in using her role with Centenary Stage Company to benefit the community, and her partnership with The House goes back several years. The House sponsors the Stage Co.’s Summer Jam Concert Series, and Rust has worked hard to keep The House involved in all the great events at the theater. She also works with numerous other local organizations that partner with the theater, and has led the popular CSC Women Playwrights Series for more than 20 years. Rust initiated and heads the CSC Advisory Board, and she sits on the Business Improvement District’s Events Committee with the goal of utilizing the theatre’s events as an economic engine for Hackettstown and the region. As Development Director at the CSC, she helps to raise over $100,000 for the not-for-profit theater each year through sponsorships, grants and individual donations.
Her long career in theater has taken her from the Boston Shakespeare Company to New York’s Classic Stage Company, appearances on TV soap operas and ABC’s director training staff. Rust holds her MA in theatre from Montclair State University, a BA from The University of Minnesota, with additional graduate studies in comparative Literature at Rutgers. Rust currently also teaches voice in the Centenary College theater department.
Rust lives happily with her husband Richard on Schooley’s Mountain.
Over the last 25 years, few people have impacted The House of the Good Shepherd like staff member Chris Garofalo. She has served the House and its residents in nearly every capacity. More importantly, she has earned the respect of her peers and won the hearts of the residents along the way.
Garofalo began her career at The House in 1990 working part-time as a food services assistant. She eventually became full-time, and even earned her Food Service Manager certification before moving to the Activities department in 1994. In Activities, Garofalo was able to spread joy and raise the spirits of her residents. She earned her CDL license and would take her Independent and Assisted Living residents on day trips or local adventures. Her enthusiasm eventually led her to earn an Activities Director certification.
In 2002, new renovations to the House were completed and Garofalo was tabbed to join the Marketing Department as an assistant. In 2005, she took over the Marketing responsibilities, and by 2007 was touring all prospective new residents. When the current CEO, Deborah Beards, came on board in 2011, Garofalo was named the Director of Admissions for both Independent and Assisted Living.
Garofalo’s heart, enthusiasm, compassion, and intimate working knowledge of The House are what make her such a great ambassador for the community.
Garofalo is married to her husband of 42 years, Joe, and has two children – Crystal and Brian. She is also the proud grandma of four beautiful granddaughters who she spoils every chance she gets. Garofalo attends Trinity Church, loves to cook and is an amateur movie buff.
Tickets for the “Wine & Dine” are just $50 each. To reserve your tickets, please call 908-684-5900. To learn more about The House or to register for tickets online, visit www.hotgs.org.