Open Letter of Thanks to the Community from First Night Maplewood South Orange

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First Night 2015/2016

To the Community:

On behalf of the Board of First Night Maplewood South Orange, I wanted to thank and recognize many of the people who made our New Years Eve celebration so incredible.

First, to my colleagues on the Board of First Night who made it all possible: Jamie Devoogd, Sandi Goodman, Amy & Stephanie Goldberg, Scott & Kathy Greenstone, Sarah Hayden, Erminia Kraiker, Laurellie Martinez, Barbara Trumpbour plus Trustee Jeff Dubowy, our municipal liaison – Thank you for the many months of planning and all the hard work you put in to make First Night a reality.

Next, the incredible generosity of our sponsors: BCB Bank, The Village of South Orange and The Township of Maplewood – your financial and logistical support was hugely appreciated and allowed us to bring First Night back for another year in a big way.

To all of our amazing performers and food vendors: your talent and professionalism was so impressive and key to our success. Music, dance, magic, sports, reptiles, dogs, lasers, acrobats, karaoke, crafts, balloons, photobooth, face painting, fireworks and more. Plus, Ariyoshi, Dancing Blender, Mara’s Cafe, Titos Burritos and Walia (and the generous donations from Starbucks and Stop n Shop). We tried to ensure there was something for everyone and you did not disappoint.

There were so many others who made the event possible – notably the School District of Maplewood South Orange (including Cheryl Schneider, Pat Johnson, Tara Abbondante, Silvana, Darrell  and everyone at Temco), the Maplewood Police Department, the Maplewood Fire Department who’s help and support was critical to our success.

We also want to thank all those locations that helped sell wristbands in advance (Sparkhouse, SO Library, Maplewood Library and Kings Supermarket) and everyone who helped us with promotion of the event (including Maplewood Online, Village Green, Tap Into SOMA, Maplewoodian and the News Record).

We especially want to thank all of the amazing volunteers who came forward to devote their time helping with decorating, directing people, assisting performers and doing whatever else was needed. A special recognition goes to Barbara Trumpbour, Jeff Bryant and the Boy Scouts of Troop 60 who provided an army of volunteers for the event while also managing their own bake sale/pizza sale/coat check, and Alyssa Aronson for her never-ending spirit and hard work.

Lastly, we want to thank the community for coming out and providing us the fantastic support we received. Seeing all the smiling faces made the months of planning all worthwhile. If you would like to ensure First Night is back again next year, PLEASE Volunteer to help plan the event at

We would love to hear what you thought about the event. Please fill out our online survey at

You can also see some great photos from First Night at

We wish you all a very Happy New Year!

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