So wonderful to be back at Historic Convention Hall in Asbury Park at the event New Jerseyans wait for all year! This is the 10th Annual New Jersey Hall of Fame – The celebration of the Garden State and its greatest achievers.
Oh, what a night it was in Asbury Park….
One of the stars of the night, 'Jersey Joe' Piscopo who said, "Kimberly, its Jersey. We don't get impressed with nothing, am I right or wrong? But then you walk in and see Buzz Adrin, whoa!!
Piscopo then commented and said, "When youre born in Jersey, you're born with a character that you cant get anywhere else in the country. There' a loyalty, you’re true to your community."
Other inductees were presented by former governors of New Jersey. I had the pleasure of meeting with Governors Whitman and Kean. I asked them, "What is it about New Jersey? There must be something in the water here that brings so much talent to a state."
Governor Whitman agreed, "Absolutely, we are such a diverse state. That’s what makes us great."
Governor Kean added, "You know 10 years.. More and more people to be honored. It's going to go on from here. There are so many people who are great in the state of New Jersey."
It was a packed house - The star-studded gala was all sold out. The energy at Convention Hall was full of excitement and tons of Jersey Pride.
Entertainer Tommy James comments on "the array of people, from governors and senators, to astronauts and rock and rollers, just an amazing group of people…. That’s Jersey."
The excitement didn't stop there. It was the first year that our new Governor Murphy and the First Lady joined us on the red carpet.
Governor Murphy boasts, "New Jersey - It's got great character, great attitude, great pride, it's a dense state, so it makes us all closer together!"
I asked the Governor and First Lady who they were most looking forward to seeing tonight and she humbly responded, "The fact of the matter is, we have a lot of friends who are being inducted and there are so many iconic people that were looking forward to hearing from."
'The Boss' made a surprise appearance and stole the show when he introduced longtime friend and guitarist, Steve Van Zandt into the Hall of Fame. New Jersey Pride filled the air, but there were also a few “fan-girl” moments!
"Who are some people that you look up to in New Jersey?" Disco Queen, Gloria Gaynor responded, "Oh, there's Jerry Lewis, there's Frank Sinatra, there are so many. I don't know why God decided to put so much talent in New Jersey, but I'm certainly glad to be a part of it.
Two-Time Olympian and Proud New Jerseyan, Carli Lloyd said, "I'm just proud to be from New Jersey. I'm a Jersey Girl through and through, it's an honor to be here amongst all these inductees."
Another blast from the past was meeting Felipe Rose from the Village People. Look at that outfit!!
"It's just great to be home and you really “fan” out when you meet someone like Buzz Aldrin and Senator Gabby. She immediately saw me and started singing YMCA!"
The trend seems to be that even when you leave New Jersey, it always feels just right to come back home.
Joe Long, famous Bass Guitarist of the Four Seasons shared, It's a great state- I love Jersey. In fact, I lived out of Jersey for a while and I was kind of drawn back!"
The publisher of Forbes Magazine, Steve Forbes, was a pleasure to meet. He commented on his induction to the Hall of Fame. "It's almost beyond emotion. My father was in inducted in the first class ten years ago for the Jersey Hall of Fame. So to be able to join him is a real thrill."
A big congratulations to this years’ class of inductees. You have made your mark around the world and will continue to serve as a role model for all New Jerseyans. To catch the full segment that aired on WJLP 'Jersey Matters,' click here:
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