Community Opinion South Orange Towns

An Open Letter of Thanks from First Night

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: Chick Bisberg, Illeana Castillo, Sandi Goodman, Amy & Stephanie Goldberg, Scott & Kathy Greenstone, Karen Harris, Laurellie & Maya Martinez, plus our municipal liaisons – 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, Atlantic Health, The Village of South Orange, The Township of Maplewood, The Gateway and Maplecrest Ford – your financial and logistical support was hugely appreciated and allowed us to bring First Night back 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, DJ, crafts, karate, yoga, zumba, balloons, face painting and more. Plus, Ariyoshi, Dancing Blender, Munchies, Sarah’s Sweets, Starbucks, Titos and Walia (and Town Hall Deli/Parkwood Diner for the performers). 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 and everyone at Temco and Synergy), the Maplewood Police Department, the Maplewood Fire Department and the prior Boards of First Night whose help and advice was critical to our success.

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

We especially want to thank all of the amazing volunteers (including Youthnet) who came forward to devote their time helping with decorating, selling tickets, directing people, assisting performers and doing whatever else was needed. A special recognition goes to Barbara Trumpour, 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, 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.

We would love to hear what you thought as well as get your feedback on how the event can be improved in the future. Please fill out our online survey here. You can also see some great video and photos from First Night here.

We wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Michael Goldberg
President, First Night Maplewood South Orange

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