Syndicated newspaper columnist, pundit, author and radio commentator Cal Thomas will be the keynote speaker at the Atlantic Christian School's inaugural "Legacy Gala" on April 12 at the Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point.

"The gala is an important fundraiser for our school, but it is also a way that we can make a difference in our community by promoting life-changing Christian values and principles," said Karen Newman Oblen, Atlantic Christian's principal and interim chief school administrator.

She called Thomas "a dynamic speaker" and said the gala is an opportunity to bring an influential journalist and author to the area to talk about his life experience as a Christian working in the national media and the kind of legacy he wants to leave.

The school started planning the event last summer. Besides fundraising, school officials hope the event will help advance the school's educational programs, Oblen said.

"Atlantic Christian School has a strong 43-year history of providing quality Christian education to students in southern New Jersey and we hope to keep building our relationship with the community," Oblen said.

Thomas is a 35-year media veteran, based out of Washington, D.C., who has worked for NBC, CNBC and PBS, and is a political commentator on Fox News. He has written more than 10 books and is co-author with Bob Beckel of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War that is Destroying America."

Thomas has a new book, "What Works: Common Sense Solutions For A Stronger America," and he will offer insight about this work during his remarks at the gala. Copies of the book will be available that night.

Oblen said they were surprised and excited when Thomas confirmed his visit to South Jersey.

School officials knew they wanted Thomas as the guest speaker after some of the students attended a Christian Leadership Conference last fall in Washington, D.C., and heard him speak, she said.

"He is such an influential Christian speaker. The students raved about him," she said. "We feel it's very positive for our youth to be exposed to leaders who make a difference in the world."

The event includes a sit-down dinner, live music as well as a featured harpist, and student presentations, Oblen said.

Atlantic Christian School, an independent, non-denominational school founded in 1971, is dually accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International and educates children from 6 months to the 12th grade.

Contact Lucia C. Drake:


If you go


Legacy Gala fundraiser for Atlantic Christian School


6:30-9 p.m. April 12


Greate Bay Country Club, Somers Point


$125 per person, $225 per couple

More info:

Advance tickets only. Purchase tickets online at or call 609-653-1199.