As 2017 draws to a close, the board and staff of the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) are all very thankful for the great progress we've made here in South Orange over the past year. SOVCA has played a vital role in helping our Village enhance its status as a major destination to live, work and play and earning our recent title "Hottest Town in New Jersey" as voted by the readers of New Jersey Monthly magazine.
Which is why we are writing now: to ask for your financial support to allow us to continue our important work in the Village Center. SOVCA works every day to make our Village Center vibrant by recruiting new businesses, keeping our streets and sidewalks clean, helping our existing merchants thrive and by bringing people downtown to attend our great events. While we receive funding from the Village as well as from the stakeholders in our district, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization we also rely on tax-deductible donations from residents like you to allow us to keep doing what we do!
Here are just a few of SOVCA's accomplishments in 2017:
Assisted in bringing an astounding seven new businesses downtown, including great new retailers that have opened their doors like Sadie's, offering fine apparel for women and men and home gifts, MOD Studio, a great kids' clothing shop and The Local Yarn Store for knitters. New restaurants opening soon include the new Jackie and Son cafe and Bayleaf Indian Cuisine.
Produced dynamic events for the whole family, including the 4th annual PlayDay which was our largest event ever, the flavorful South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl, our Halloween festival, the Hottest Town in New Jersey celebration in Spiotta Park, Pop 'n Shop - our wonderful holiday pop up store, Downtown After Sundown concerts all summer and our weekly Farmers Market.
Partnered with the Environmental Commission on South Orange's first outdoor temporary parklet, and provided comfort for shoppers and diners by placing Adirondack chairs around the Village as part of our new Rapid Lounging program.
Hosted our first Small Business Cyber Weekend event and created the Shop Local SOMA campaign to encourage residents to shop locally.
We are really proud of our accomplishments this past year, and we anticipate doing even more in 2018, including renewing our commitment to partnering with Seton Hall University. But in order to do more we'll need even more help, which is why we hope you'll join us by making a tax-deductible donation to the Alliance as 2017 comes to an end. You can donate quickly and easily online byclicking here, or by sending a check to: SOVCA, 76 South Orange Avenue, 3rd Floor, South Orange, NJ 07079. By supporting our dedicated staff and volunteers with a contribution today, you can be a partner in South Orange's transformation as we continue to work toward further improvements in our Village Center.
In the meantime, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year.
Bob Zuckerman, Executive Director Matt Glass, Board of Directors, Chair