This year, the Foundation decided to do something different than the galas in previous years. CAF wanted to reach out to the community and thank them for all their support, so on September 22, they threw an outdoor party at the Chatham Firehouse Plaza. Over 300 people attended the event, held on the gazebo lawn under lighted tents decorated with cornstalks and flowers. The crowd enjoyed the many varieties of food graciously provided by local vendors The River Grille, Marie’s, Charlie’s Aunt, Pizza Vita and The Chatham Bakery. Chatham resident Steve Reed also provided smoked pulled pork sandwiches. There was a dedicated bar specializing in martinis of all different flavors which was definitely a crowd favorite. A good time was had by all, as evidenced by the dance floor full of people dancing until the band Undisputed stopped playing and the party ended at 1:00 a.m.
Thanks to all of our local vendors and the attendees who registered and attended the event, Septemberfest 2012 was a huge success.
Chatham Athletic Foundation’s Brick Campaign supporting the Shunpike Field Complex Restoration and Lighting Project
In 2010 CAF launched a Brick Campaign to complete the Shunpike Field Complex Restoration Project, with a specific emphasis on helping to fund the lights for the field complex. This large scale undertaking was selected as the second 3-way partnership between the Chatham Athletic Foundation, Chatham Borough, and Chatham Township, after the successful completion of Lum Avenue Field in 2008. As with the Lum project, CAF made clear its preference that the project serve as many programs as possible, have a positive impact for the children of both towns and be able to reduce the stress on other fields in town.
To raise the funds needed to complete this extensive project, CAF launched a Brick Fundraising Campaign where the donated and customized bricks would be used to a beautiful courtyard within the new field complex. Two brick sizes were offered and sold to individuals, families, teams, businesses and community organizations. Benches, dugouts and bleachers could also be named and donated as part of the fundraising campaign. Once again, the community rallied around these efforts making the Bricks Campaign a tremendous success and allowed CAF to meet its goal in the spring of 2011.
The final complex will have a completely new look with defined walkways, improved backstops and fencing, larger dugouts, larger bleachers and spectator areas. New fields will consist of a large turf field similar to Lum Avenue, two natural grass baseball fields and a full sided natural grass soccer field. The entire complex will also be lighted offering the community extended playing time and night game options. The improvements also involve excessive stormwater management controls including a new network of stormwater collection pipes and inlets, water quality treatment devices, and provisions for groundwater recharge and detention.
The Turf field is now complete and open for business with the grass fields scheduled to be ready in the Spring of 2012. Improved and increased parking will be available this fall and the official ribbon cutting for the new complex will take place September 10th.
The Fourth Fundraising Gala was held on September 16, 2011. Once again, the event took place at the beautiful Madison Hotel. Almost 400 people attended the gala including local politicians Rodney Frelinghuysen, Nicole Hagner, Nelson Vaughn, Bruce Harris, Jim Lonergan and John Holman.
As in years past, the event featured gourmet dining stations, open bars, and silent and live auctions. Guests in the main ballroom danced well into the evening to music from the popular cover band Undisputed. A new addition this year was the “Prohibition Room”, which featured a live jazz quartet, a scotch tasting station, a martini bar, cigar bar and raw bar. A game of chance was introduced this year, where attendees had the opportunity to purchase keys to open boxes that housed signature Tiffany sunglasses and a Chanel handbag.
Thanks to the generosity of local merchants who supported this event, the auction donors and winners and all the attendees who registered and participated in the evening’s activities, the CAF Gala was a great success.
With the Lum Field restoration project in the Borough now complete, the Chatham Athletic Foundation turned its focus to the Shunpike Field Complex restoration project in Chatham Township. The Third Annual Fundraising Gala was held on September 19, 2008 in the hopes to raise the remaining amount needed to fund CAF’s share of the Shunpike Field project.
The beautiful Madison Hotel was again selected as the venue for this important event. Over 300 people attended the gala including the mayors of both towns and various council and committee members along with Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.
Once again, the event featured gourmet dining stations and open bar, live music and dancing, silent and live auctions as well as casino style gaming. A new addition this year was the raffle of a Cougar-blue Vespa fully loaded with all accessories. In a time when fuel efficiency was on the minds of many, this auction prize generated tremendous interest.
Thanks to the generosity of local merchants who supported this event, the auction donors and winners and all the attendees who registered and participated in the evening’s activities, the CAF Gala exceeded expectations raising more than $90,000 for the Shunpike Field redevelopment project. In good times, generating this much money from a community event would be considered fantastic. In a time when many in the community were feeling the impact of a recession, it was a true testament to what people would do to support activities for children.
The opening of the Lum Field turf complex in June 2007 was a success. Those who played football, soccer and field hockey already experienced the thrill of being able to play on a field shortly after – or even during – rain.
With the Borough project now complete, and the Township’s project to be imminently announced, the Chatham Athletic Foundation held its Second Annual Fundraising Gala on September 28, 2007. The beautiful Madison Hotel was once again selected as the venue. Chatham’s own Glostixx, a local band consisting of Chatham dads, returned for the enjoyment of the guests. The ever popular Hungry Jack Band was added to the list of musicians. Taking a gamble by changing the format a little, CAF decided to forgo the sit down dinner and instead provided stations of delicious food everywhere to enable the guests to mingle and have more fun. In addition, a casino was added to the evening’s entertainment. Blackjack, craps, roulette and poker gaming tables were spread throughout the venue. More auction items with a better variety were offered this year. There were 6 live auction packages, 72 silent auction packages, and 13 chance raffle packages. Flowers spilled out of small shiny cleats and Chatham pennants were everywhere. This event surpassed all expectations. There were 400 guests, including Senator Tom Kean and Assemblyman Richard Bramnick. The event raised $150,000, which put CAF well on its way to funding its share of the next field refurbishment project!
June 9, 2007 was a historic moment for the children participating in Chatham’s outdoor youth athletic programs. That date marked the official opening of the new Lum field complex, the first field refurbishment project jointly funded between Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and the Chatham Athletic Foundation.
The sun was shining and children played soccer, football, field hockey, lacrosse, baseball and softball on the new field turf. Moms, dads, elected representatives from both the Borough and Township along with many supporters of the Chatham Athletic Foundation were there to join in the festivities. The mayors of the Borough and Township spoke about this momentous occasion and thanked CAF and its supporters for not only recognizing the need to increase utilization of this field but stepping up to the plate and making it happen.
The exciting, yet ambitious, plan to refurbish Lum Field using the new artificial turf was Chatham Athletic Foundation’s first project. Fundraising for CAF’s share of this project needed to be just as ambitious. In addition to a couple of letter writing campaigns, CAF held its first fundraiser September 22, 2006 at the Madison Hotel. 300 guests attended – a true testament to the broad base support CAF was hoping to have. The evening’s entertainment included a live and silent auction of nearly 50 items. The guests danced well into the evening to the tunes of the Glostixx, a local band, including some Chatham dads. There was an open bar, elegant decor and a sit down dinner. The event was a huge success, exceeding the Foundation’s expectations and raising approximately $100,000!