New Jersey Hall of Fame Eleventh Anniversary

Red Carpet Induction Ceremony

Class of 2018

Paramount Theatre - Asbury Park, New Jersey

By Melissa Lawlor

November 2, 2019

The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) is an organization that honors individuals from the state of New Jersey who have made contributions to society and the world beyond. On October 27, the NJHOF held their Eleventh Anniversary Red Carpet Induction Ceremony in Asbury Park, NJ. The nominees were in five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service, and Sports. With only rare exceptions, nominees must have resided in New Jersey for a period of at least five years.

Untitled photo

Celebrity sightings were in full effect! The evening began in the Grande Arcade where VIPs, NJ Hall of Fame supporters, presenters, and inductees walked the red carpet. Some of those people were The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw, Darlene Love, Gary Tallent, Jason Alexander, Buzz Aldrin, Timothy White, Michael Bolton, George R.R. Martin, Todd Fraizer, and Harry Carson, just to name a few. Once they walked past the photographers and reporters, they enjoyed themselves in Convention Hall for some food and beverage. The Induction ceremony followed shortly after in the Paramount Theatre, with performances by various artists interspersed between awards. Some of the performers were Darlene Love, The Smithereens, and John “Southside Johnny” Lyon.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

There were also celebrity presenters for some of the awards, like Jon Bon Jovi, Dr. Oz, and Whoopi Goldberg. Many of them have been friends for decades! While introducing Southside Johnny, Bon Jovi declared, “I always wanted to be an Asbury Juke!” In his acceptance speech, Lyon said, “I’m very proud to be from New Jersey, and when we started out making music, making records, that was not something you would say.” Bon Jovi, who was inducted into the NJHOF in 2009, joined Lyon for a performance of the signature hit, “I Don’t Want to Go Home” — one of many songs that Little Steven Van Zandt wrote for Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

The Smithereens were also inducted during the ceremony and their award was presented by founding E Street Band bassist, Gary Tallent. On hand to accept the honor were the group’s three surviving founding members: guitarist Jim Babjak, drummer Dennis Diken, and bassist Mike Mesaros. Joining them on stage was the daughter of frontman Pat DiNizio, who passed away in 2017 and was sadly missed by many.

Untitled photo

The Smithereens closed out the ceremony with a performance featuring their two guest singers, Marshall Crenshaw and Robin Wilson, the Gin Blossoms frontman. Crenshaw and Wilson have performed regularly with the band since DiNizio’s passing. They also performed two songs, “Blood and Roses” with Crenshaw and “A Girl Like You” with Wilson singing, and Crenshaw playing guitar, and also participated in the evening’s final two songs: covers of The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” (also featuring the Carl Gentry-led house band, Kings of Suburbia, and others), and Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” (for which Darlene Love joined the ensemble).

The night was a beautiful celebration of all good things that come out of New Jersey!

Untitled photo


Arts & Letters

Peter Benchley, American author, screenwriter, and ocean activist. He wrote the bestselling novel, Jaws, and also co-wrote its film adaptation with Carl Gotleib. Several more of his works were adapted for cinema and television such as: The Deep, The Island, Beast, and White Shark. Benchley passed away in 2006 at the age of 65 in Princeton, NJ.

Jerry Izenberg, sports journalist with The Newark Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ. Began his career in 1951 while he was a student at Rutgers in Newark, NJ. and also a writer of 13 books.

George R.R. Martin, an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, screenwriter, and television producer. He is best known for his series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011–2019). Martin was born and raised in Bayonne, NJ.

Timothy White is an American photographer of celebrities, ranging from Whoopi Goldberg, Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, and more.


J. Fletcher Creamer, Sr, chairman of J. Fletcher Creamer & Sons, a national construction firm that redesigned the interchange at routes 4 and 17. Creamer was born in Teaneck and lived in Fort Lee, and passed in March 2012.

F.M. Kirby II, 1919-2011, was a resident of New Vernon. He initiated the F.M. Kirby Foundation and expanded support to non-profit organizations in education (including his beloved Lafayette College and Lawrenceville School), the arts and humanities, civic and public affairs, and human services, among others. Most notably, he initiated the Foundation’s support of basic medical research and was willing to take a risk on young scientists and investigative entrepreneurs engaged in daring pursuits at world-class institutions and laboratories, including the F.M. Kirby Center at Rockefeller University and the F.M. Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology at Scheie Eye Institute.

Tim McLoone, best described as a Renaissance man, started 32 years ago with McCloone’s Rum Runner along the Shrewsbury River. He now owns twelve restaurants, plays in a band, and is the creator of Holiday Express which is a non-profit organization that works year-round to deliver music, food, gifts, and human kindness to adults and children in need.

Mary Roebling (1905 –1994) was an American banker, businesswoman, and philanthropist. She was the first woman to serve as president of a major US bank. Born in Collingswood, but most connected with her adopted hometown of Trenton.

Arthur F. Ryan is an American businessman that came to prominence during the 1990s, when he was the first outsider to become CEO of Prudential Insurance. Ryan is a Newark resident.

Martha Stewart of Nutley, NJ is an American retail businesswoman, writer, television personality, and former model. As founder of Martha Stewart Living, she gained success through a variety of business ventures, encompassing publishing, broadcasting, merchandising, and e-commerce. She has written numerous bestselling books, is the publisher of Martha Stewart Living magazine, and hosted two syndicated television programs, Martha, which ran from 2005 to 2012, and Martha Stewart Living, which ran from 1993 to 2004.

Performing Arts

Jason Alexander, born in Newark, NJ, is an American actor, voice actor, singer, comedian, and director. Alexander is best known for his role as George Costanza in the television series Seinfeld, for which he was nominated for seven consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. Alexander has had an active career on stage, appearing in several Broadway musicals including Jerome Robbins’ Broadway in 1989, for which he won the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical.

Southside Johnny, is an American singer-songwriter who usually fronts his band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Born in Neptune, NJ and still living in NJ, Southside Johnny has been in music for over 40 years.

The Smithereens are an American rock band from Carteret, New Jersey, United States. The group formed in 1980 with members Pat DiNizio (vocals & guitar), Jim Babjak (guitar & vocals), Mike Mesaros (bass guitar & vocals), and Dennis Diken (drums & percussion). This original lineup continued until 2006, when Mesaros left the band and Severo Jornacion took over on bass guitar until Mesaros’ return in 2016 to present. After DiNizio passed away in 2017, the band continued performing live shows as a trio (Babjak, Mesaros and Diken) with various guest vocalists such as Marshall Crenshaw and Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms. The band are perhaps best known for a string of modest hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including “Only a Memory”, “A Girl Like You” and “Too Much Passion”.

Public Service

Elizabeth Almira Allen (1854-1919), a teachers’ rights advocate, and the first woman president of the New Jersey Education Association. Allen began her 48-year-long teaching career in the Hoboken School District as principal of the elementary school; she held the same role at Hoboken High School. Eventually, Allen transitioned into a position as supervisor of the education of teachers at the Hoboken Normal and Training School.

Victor Parsonnet is an American cardiac surgeon who contributed significantly to the evolution of cardiac pacemaking. Parsonnet grew up in Newark, NJ and attended Cornell University. He left Cornell to join the U.S. Navy Reserve during World War II, and in 1947 he finished his medical studies at New York University School of Medicine. In 1955, Parsonnet joined his father’s practice at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, in Newark, NJ, which his grandfathers founded in 1901. Parsonnet conducted research and studies with pioneers of the heart surgery field, and was the first surgeon in NJ to implant a permanent pacemaker and to complete a heart transplant and kidney transplant.


Harry Carson is a former American football inside linebacker who played his entire professional career for the New York Giants of the NFL. Carson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Anne Donovan (1961 –2018) was an American women’s basketball player and coach born in Ridgewood, NJ. From 2013 to 2015, she was the head coach of the Connecticut Sun. In her playing career, Donovan won a national championship with Old Dominion University, won two Olympic gold medals, and went to three Final Fours overall. She was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, and became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015.

Lauren Hernandez is an American artistic gymnast from Old Bridge Township, NJ. She competed as a member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team dubbed the “Final Five” at the 2016 Summer Olympics, winning gold in the team event and silver on the balance beam. In 2016, Hernandez won season 23 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.

Bart Oates is a former American football player in the NFL for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. He played center for the Giants from 1985 to 1993 and with the 49ers from 1994 to 1995. He was a member of the Giants teams that won Super Bowls XXI and XXV and the 49ers team that won Super Bowl XXIX. Oates and family currently reside in Harding Township, NJ.

  • No Comments
Asbury Park Vibes

ASBURY PARK VIBES is a media outlet dedicated to shining a light on the music scene at the Jersey Shore and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S.! We strive to provide show reviews and photographs that capture the true essence and fan experience of each concert. Our coverage focuses keenly on the artists and venues in legendary Asbury Park, New Jersey, however you'll also catch us promoting events in PA and NY as well! There is nothing better than the dynamic energy and vibes you feel when you experience a concert at the Jersey Shore! We're sure we'll see you at a concert here very soon!

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In