Musicians entertain during the reception. Saturday May 4 2013 AtlantiCare's 54th annual Century Club Gala at the Borgata Atlantic City Event Center. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Ben Fogletto

AtlantiCare celebrated the accomplishments of a diverse group of honorees during its 54th annual Century Club Gala Saturday at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Honorees were Gov. Chris Christie and first lady Mary Pat Christie for their work during Hurricane Sandy; Bill and Muriel Elliott, of the Ensign John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers; and Dr. John W. Becher, who retired last year as chairman of emergency services at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

The Christies were honored for their leadership and extraordinary efforts before, during and after Hurricane Sandy and through the renaissance of Atlantic City, AtlantiCare said. Christie and his wife were not there to accept the honor, but accepted the award in a video.

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“This award stems from our work immediately after Hurricane Sandy, but we really, we don’t deserve any award at all,” Christie said. “It’s all the responders, the volunteers, the organizations that all came together to help New Jersey restore itself immediately after the storm and now are helping us rebuild our state.”

Bill and Muriel Elliott received a tribute for their work with the Ensign John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers.

“We are really in the same business of saving lives,” said Bill Elliott of the HERO campaign and AtlantiCare.“Our goal is to register 1 million designated drivers,” Elliott said.

Dr. Becher spent more time in Philadelphia than he did with AtlantiCare, but he was honored for the impact he made while he was there.

Becher recruited a number of younger, very qualified emergency physicians during his 12 years with AtlantiCare. The one-call system to treat heart attack victims was also instituted during his time with AtlantiCare.

Becher said he was “very surprised and flabbergasted” by the honor.

AtlantiCare raised about $550,000 through gala ticket sales and/or sponsorships.

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