From the Achieve Foundation
Planning is in full swing for the Achieve Foundation’s “Nights of 100 Dinners” which will be happening during the entire month of March. Thank you to the many area residents who have already signed up to host a dinner or party in support of this amazing organization. It’s not too late for you to get involved and make a difference! The “Nights of 100 Dinners” organizers are actively recruiting hosts.
The Achieve Foundation raises critical funds for students and educators in the South Orange and Maplewood public school system. The “Nights of 100 Dinners” fundraiser began 16 years ago on a small scale: 10 hosts invited 10 guests to their homes for dinner on one designated night in March. Instead of bringing dessert or drinks, each guest bought a ticket to attend the dinner with all proceeds benefiting the Achieve Foundation.
Today the concept remains the same − friends and neighbors gathering to socialize for a cause − but how they do it has completely changed. Over the years, this exciting initiative has morphed into a month-long celebration with every imaginable style and size of dinner or party, held at any time of day or evening. Reflecting SOMA’s spirit and creativity, past themes have included: a funky hat party, a family pizza fest, a knitting-and-wine class, a college throwback including keg beer and food truck, an Achieve-A-Palooza with local bands, and even a pajama party for grown-ups complete with games, breakfast foods and a Bloody Mary bar.
“We are so grateful that ‘Nights of 100 Dinners’ raised over $80,000 last year, thanks to our fantastic party hosts and very generous sponsors,” says Achieve Foundation Executive Director Eileen Collins Neri. “More than 900 residents gathered at more than 38 parties, large and small, across the two towns. It is always incredibly exciting to see our community come together every year in such a strong show of support for our schools.”
To host, co-host or become a sponsor of “Nights of 100 Dinners,” please email firstname.lastname@example.org, fill out the online form at tinyurl.com/AchieveNHD2020 or visit https://achievefoundation.org/night-of-100-dinners/
You’re Invited: 2nd Annual “Mardi Gras in SOMA 2020” Kickoff Party
The Achieve Foundation is kicking off “Nights of 100 Dinners” with a community-wide celebration, “Mardi Gras in SOMA 2020,” on February 28. The Woodland in Maplewood will once again transform into the French Quarter with New Orleans-style food, drinks, music and dancing, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Edrington. Ruthie’s Bar-B-Q will be serving up a Mardi Gras-inspired feast, and partygoers can sit back and chill, or dance to the Cajun-country sounds of Big Mamou. The festivities will take place from 7:00 to 11:00 PM. Admission (adults only, please) is $25 per person and includes dinner plus one drink ticket. This event is expected to sell out, so get your tickets today at http://bit.ly/2FJY6im
Achieve in Action: Over the past two decades, the Achieve Foundation has raised more than $4 million for local schools, awarded 1,000+ teacher and administrator grants, facilitated tutoring for 3,000+ students, supported STEAM education through a free Maker Madness fair for the community, fostered music education through the Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative and the Ted Cole Clarinet Project, piloted efforts like a Chromebook and hotspot loaner program at Columbia High School, and spearheaded a restoration of the school’s auditorium.
To donate, volunteer, or learn more, please visit www.achievefoundation.org.
Heather Truscinski & Christine Houseworth
Co-Chairs, “Nights of 100 Dinners” Committee