From the Achieve Foundation of South Orange and Maplewood:
An estimated 800 people of all ages enjoyed the first-ever Oktoberfest at The Woodland on Saturday, October 6, helping to raise $7,500 for the Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative (VPMI) of the Achieve Foundation.
The VPMI was established by Vanessa and her husband Charlie Pollock in 2014 to improve music resources and expand access to music education for all students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District. Specifically, VPMI funds may be used to provide new and refurbished instruments for students who have financial need; underwrite private music lessons for Columbia High School students who have need and have demonstrated exceptional musical talent; and fulfill grant requests from teachers and/or administrators within SOMSD that relate to music education.
“Achieve was pleased that the organizers of Oktoberfest chose the Achieve Foundation to be the recipient of funds raised at their first annual event. It demonstrates their commitment to the community, the public schools, and to music education opportunities for all students in the South Orange & Maplewood School District,” said Eileen Collins Neri, Achieve’s Interim Executive Director.
About SOMA Brewing
Over drinks at the neighborhood pub, the idea of SOMA Brewing Company was born of the Froelich and Heydt families’ desire to keep it local. Both families live and are very active in the South Orange–Maplewood area, and between them have five children in the public schools. This made the idea of making craft beer for locals by locals an easy decision.
Adam Heydt, co-owner SOMA Brewing Company reported that at Oktoberfest “We exceeded our expectations by selling over 1500 drafts of our signature Two Towns Ale. It’s our honor to serve this wonderful SOMA community and this amazing music initiative.”
About the Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood
The Achieve Foundation unites the community in support of our public schools; raising funds to promote outstanding public education for all students and teachers in the School District of South Orange and Maplewood.
Over the past two decades, Achieve has raised more than $4 million for local public schools and has inspired innovation by awarding over 1,000 teacher and administrator grants. Achieve’s flagship Volunteer Tutor Program celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and currently offers academic support to more than 300 students each school year. The organization promotes creativity through its free Maker Madness fair each spring, and fosters music education through the Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative and the Ted Cole Clarinet Program (new this year). Achieve was also instrumental in piloting the Beyond the Bell after school program and conducted a major capital campaign to enhance the restoration of the Columbia High School auditorium a few years ago.