We hope you will join us for this second annual delicious and fun event...and see if we can keep our "King and Queen of the Meatball" crowns!

This innovative food tasting and competition benefits Project Graduation, and Lou and I will be judging again.

Meatball lovers and chefs from around Monmouth and Ocean Counties are looking forward to the Meatball Gala on Thursday, April 24th, 2014, because last year's tasting was amazing!

It takes place from 6 pm - 9 pm at the South Wall Banquet Facilites in Wall Township (the fire house's banquet hall on Atlantic Avenue near Brian's Auto), with proceeds to benefit Wall High School Project Graduation.

Project Graduation is an all-night, drug-and alcohol-free party held each year for graduating high school seniors.

Last year's Meatball Gala sold out because of the great food and serious competition among chefs!

This time the Gala will feature the creative cooking of many area chefs competing in categories like Best Traditional Meatball, Most Creative Meatball, Best Swimming Meatball, Best Non-Meat Meatball, Most Oddball Meatball, and more.

(Photo courtesy of Jo Schloeder)

At the end of the night, they will award the Best in Show: The Meanest Meatball of the Jersey Shore!

Last year's Best in Show went to Agostino Italian Specialties in Manasquan. It will be interesting to see if they can defend their title for another year.

There is still some room for more restaurants to sign up their meantballs, too! So far, participating restaurants include Angerico's, Agostino, Brandle, East Coast Cookery, Fratello's, Jersey Shore BBQ, Jimmy's Cucina, Joe's Pizza, MJ's, Ponte Vecchio and Spring Meadow Inn.

In addition to all of those meatballs, there will also be pasta and non-meat dishes, salads, bread, beer, wine, desserts (including the Macaroon Shoppe!), coffee, and tea.

And there will be live entertainment, too! SUCH a fun night out!

This event is being sponsored by Wall Cares, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to the Wall Township community. They are extremely pleased to support Project Graduation to ensure the safety of graduating seniors each year in the best way possible while allowing the students to have a great night in celebration of their graduation.

All money raised through the Gala will be donated by Wall Cares to the Wall Alliance for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the group that funds and organizes Project Graduation.

The Wall Alliance says Project Graduation is an important event because graduation night is historically a time when teens confuse 'partying' with celebrating. This event gives the kids a safe place to celebrate their achievement and ensures they'll come home healthy (and exhausted) the next day. What most people don't realize is that the Wall Alliance pays for the huge all-night event and raises between $15,000 and $20,000 to fund it. Money is raised through donations from area businesses, individuals, and community organizations, grants, and special fundraisers like the Meatball Gala.

The committee is still seeking area restaurants and chefs to participate in the Gala. There is no cost to enter the competition, just the supplies needed to make your meatball specialty. Restaurants and food vendors are also needed for sides, breads, salads, soft drinks, and more. All donors and participating restaurants will receive special recognition in the ad journal program. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for businesses, individuals, and families who wish to support this exciting annual event.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 the day of the event and include all food, beer, wine, and soft drinks.

For tickets and restaurant/sponsor information, CLICK HERE! Or go to www.MeatballGala.com. You can also contact Wall Alliance Coordinator Kristin Meyler at 732-820-4792.