HABcore announces 2023 Gala “Bella Italia”

“Bella Italia” Gala to honor Daniel & Alyse Dermer of  “Dermer Dreams” and Robert Winters, Jr.


HABcore’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce, Daniel and Alyse Dermer, Fair Haven, and Robert Winters Jr., Little Silver, as the 2023 distinguished honorees at HABcore’s largest fundraising event of the year scheduled for April 28, 2023, at prestigious Navesink Country Club. This year’s event is “Bella Italia”, celebrating the tastes of Italy. Guests will enjoy authentic Italian cuisine, Italian wines, and especially the company of good friends.

This honor is to recognize the ultimate and compassionate community relationships and partnerships the Dermers have built within our communities and their mission to feed the community “One Bag at a Time” and Bob Winters’ three-decade-long commitment as a Trustee to HABcore’s endeavors to offer permanent and supportive housing.

HABcore’s “Bella Italia” event festivities begin at 6:30 pm. HABcore is creating a safe and welcoming environment for its guests. Seating will be both in and outdoors, to offer our guests a relaxed evening. The event includes live entertainment, wine vendors, and appealing gift auctions - capped off with celebrating our recognized guests. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available to support HABcore and this event.

Our selected honorees for 2023 are established members of the community who embrace the value of service above self, and support individuals, veterans, and families that are less fortunate. This recognition distinguishes them as selfless individuals dedicated to supporting the community HABcore serves in both Monmouth and Ocean counties. We are delighted to celebrate our honorees on this momentous occasion.

Dermer Dreams is a non-profit organization focused on fighting hunger.

After Superstorm Sandy, Daniel Dermer and his family were displaced from their home for months. While relocating, Daniel & Alyse Dermer realized that so many people had to leave their homes and were at shelters with very little food.

As a residential property manager in New York City, Daniel Dermer developed a food drive program across each one of the buildings his company managed. Dermer Dreams donation bags were delivered to residents with instructions and a requested donation list. Residents were asked to deliver their donation bag, filled with one or more of the items, to their building lobby on a specific date and time. The Dermer Dreams team circled the city in trucks to collect the bags and deliver the donations directly to the shelters.

The goal of the program was to simplify the donation process so people who wanted to give to people in need were provided a simple way to do it. The program took off in New York City and is now in New Jersey.

Together, Dan and Alyse started the largest food drive in our county, created the Neighborhood Captain Program, and organized and encouraged students and community neighbors to donate food for those less fortunate. To date, over 443,075 lbs. of food has been collected and donated.

It is with their enthusiasm and genuine care for those in need that they encouraged HABcore’s participation. Because of the Dermer Dreams food drive in Fair Haven, HABcore can offer a surplus of food, perishables, and necessities to over 400 individuals, families, and veterans that live in HABcore’s housing. They are a Godsend to our families.” Marta Quinn, Sr. Director of Development, HABcore.

Robert Winters, Jr. is a stalwart HABcore Board member whose goals are always guided by a passion for helping HABcore’s clients. Since joining the Board of Trustees in 1995, Winters has served in a plethora of capacities. He is currently the Chair of the Governance Committee which has worked to strengthen HABcore’s Board and rewrite selected Bylaws, a member of the Veterans’ Committee, Fund Development, and Finance, and previously on the Executive Committee as Advisory Board Chair.

Steve Heisman, HABcore’s Executive Director says of Winters: “His unique participation and personal connections with the residents and high-level governance leadership leaves its mark throughout HABcore. His involvement reaches every aspect of HABcore, from organizing and chaperoning residents’ field trips to oversight of the Coffey Residence basketball court construction to meticulous finance and budget approval, Bob’s contributions to HABcore has touched countless lives.”

Susan Harbison, HABcore Past President who worked closely with Winters on many projects says: Bob always shows an uncanny ability to determine HABcore’s needs at every juncture. In the past decade alone, Bob has directly impacted the recruitment and training of new Trustees and Advisors, revitalized the Veterans’ Committee, spearheaded rewriting of bylaws, and chaired a Strategic Plan Task Force and helped to realign and revitalize board committees. He is a trusted member of the Finance and Fund Development committees and served on the Executive Committee while chairing the Advisory Board. Most importantly, Bob truly cares for the well-being of HABcore’s residents and in its mission. He is a vigorous ambassador and spokesperson for HABcore.”

Winters is also devoted to St. George’s by the River of Rumson. He has served as a Senior Warden, two-term member of the Vestry, Treasurer, Finance Committee member and usher. He especially has enjoyed serving on the Outreach Committee for 25 years because in that capacity he reaches out to the community to determine the needs of those less fortunate to offer assistance.

Before his retirement Winters had a distinguished career in private banking. He served as Vice President for Private Banking at J.P. Morgan for more than 30 years. He was honorably discharged from the US Army Reserve as a 1st Lieutenant in 1971 which has fostered his life-long commitment to the needs of US Veterans.

Winters and his late-wife Joan raised their two sons in Rumson. He now resides in Little Silver with his wife Dee Dee Pitts Winters who is also a dedicated HABcore volunteer.