SOMA Brewing Donates $5,000 from Oktoberfest Event to Achieve Foundation’s Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative

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From SOMA Brewing Company:

After a 2-year hiatus due to Covid, SOMA Brewing brought their popular Oktoberfest at The Woodland back to the community on Saturday, October 1st. Hundreds of people of all ages turned out to enjoy the free event that included music, arts & crafts, food and drink — and helped to raise $5,000 for the Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative (VPMI) of the Achieve Foundation in the process. 

“We are honored that the organizers of Oktoberfest again chose the VPMI as the recipient of funds this year, demonstrating their commitment to the community, our public schools, and access to arts education opportunities for all SOMA students,” said Achieve’s Executive Director Eileen Collins Neri.

SOMA Brewing Company co-founder Adam Heydt addedWe look forward to working together again with VPMI and the Achieve Foundation to further advance this wonderful music initiative. Cheers!”

The VPMI was established by Vanessa and Charlie Pollock seven years ago to improve music resources and expand access to music education for all students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District. Specifically, VPMI funds have underwritten instrument rentals so all students can participate in band and orchestra at the elementary and middle school levels; provided scholarship awards for private music lessons for Columbia High School students who have demonstrated exceptional musical talent; refurbished instruments owned by the District; and fulfilled grant requests from teachers and/or administrators within SOMSD that relate to music education.

Ms. Pollock was thrilled with this investment in the VPMI:Charlie and I are so grateful for the generosity of the SOMA Brewing owners and our community. The Oktoberfest donation of $5,000 helps us to ensure that ALL children in our school district who need financial assistance to rent an instrument for this school year will be able to do so. We thank everyone who attended Oktoberfest and made this possible, and hope to see everyone again at our annual holiday concert!”

The next fundraising effort for the VPMI will be “TOGETHER: Charlie Pollock & Friends Holiday Concert” on Saturday, December 3rd. The concert, sponsored by Pollock Properties Group and Matt Keane Mortgage will be presented live and in-person, with a livestreaming option. All are welcome to reserve your tickets or learn more at

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. 

About the Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood

The Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood is a registered 501(c)3 organization that promotes high-quality education that prepares South Orange-Maplewood School District students for the future. We support our students, families and educators by addressing inequities, inspiring innovation and fostering community. Since 1999, Achieve has invested over $4.5 million for programs that support public education in our two towns. To learn more, please visit

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