Paul A. Schaefer and Elana Ricardo (COURTESY VANGUARD THEATER)

By LOUIS C. HOCHMAN
hochman@montclairlocal.news

There’s an expression I’ve found myself using a lot over the last five weeks: “Thank you so, so much.” Sometimes I throw in another “so” or two beyond that.

Anyone who’s been watching this space in Montclair Local since the beginning of October knows we’ve been making a big request of the community — to help us raise $230,000 from members, donors and grantors to make the journalism you value possible in 2022 and beyond.

Montclair Local Nonprofit News has always been a money-losing endeavor, and there was always a point coming when we’d need to turn that around, to serve you the way this community deserves in the long term. At the start of October, when that point arrived, I didn’t know whether it was possible. I hoped it was. Believed it was. It had to be, if Montclair valued being well-informed as much as I’d come to learn it does. But we’d never made that large of a request of the community before. We’d never truly tested the theory that the people of Montclair would voluntarily give enough to sustain local journalism, even as so many commercial news endeavors, including ones cherished for generations, wither or die. 

As of the start of this week, we’re nearly there. Thank you so, so much.

SAVE MONTCLAIR LOCAL: We're overjoyed to report we've hit our fundraising goal of $230,000 this quarter for Montclair Local Nonprofit News! Montclair has stepped up to say local news matters, and we're hugely grateful. That gives our newsroom, your newsroom, security to operate well into 2022 while we continue to work toward long-term sustainability. We've seen what happens when news operations cut back or shut down. Communities suffer. We've seen it here in Montclair, and we believe you deserve better.

Visit MontclairLocal.news/donations to make your tax-deductible contribution today, to keep Montclair Local strong and help us do even more to serve the amazing community of Montclair.

Make your donation to Montclair Local

Since Oct. 1, we’ve raised an astounding $200,581 in grants, donations, new and renewed memberships (all donors of $120 or more are members, and receive our weekly print edition for a year) and pledged gifts that are anticipated to arrive before the year ends. Our fundraising “thermometer” is looking awfully close to full.

We couldn’t have come this far without you. All of you. Whether you gave us $20 in cash out of your pocket when you saw our table at Light Up Montclair; whether you bought a ticket to the Halloween Silent Disco to Save Montclair Local; whether you attended the 4 Flavors Art Gallery reception of artist Sen2 Figueroa’s works, with ticket proceeds benefiting our newsroom; whether you’ve sat across table from our fundraising director, David Katowitz, and been moved enough by our mission to write a generous check; whether you’ve seen a past appeal and given what you could at MontclairLocal.news/donations — we thank you. 

Our founding publisher, Heeten Choxi, and his wife, Thalla-Marie Choxi, have contributed more than $1 million of their own money to Montclair Local since its founding in 2017 — first, when the paper began as an LLC, and now as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit newsroom — because they believe what we do is a service the community needs. They believe democracy is served by robust local journalism, that connections among people are built by it, that neighbors are brought together by it. We’re so gratified to learn so many of you feel the same way, doing what you can to make this work possible.

We’re particularly grateful to partners in our fundraising campaign who’ve stepped up to make it possible — like 4 Flavors for hosting the art reception, like Armando OUTthere Diaz and the Weirdo Party for putting on the Silent Disco. 

Now, we add to that list Vanguard Theater, which is helping us to show our appreciation to you.

Buy your ticket to ‘Broadway on Bloomfield’

Attendees of Vanguard’s Dec. 7 “Broadway on Bloomfield” performance who’ve donated $1,000 or more to Montclair Local in the past year (or who make such a donation at the time of their ticket purchase) will be invited to a special wine and cheese reception before the show, featuring Montclair Local journalists and staff.

(Donations of smaller amounts at the time of your ticket purchase, or any time at MontclairLocal.news/donations, are of course gladly welcomed as well.)

“Broadway on Bloomfield” will feature Elena Ricardo, of “Beautiful” and “Mamma Mia” on Broadway, as well as Paul A. Schaeffer of “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway. They’re coming west of the Hudson to perform in a special cabaret with special guests. Tickets are just $30 for the show and can be purchased at VanguardTheaterCompany.org (or see the link at MontclairLocal.news, under Montclair Local events).

It will be an amazing performance, at the theater’s new home at 180 Bloomfield Ave. We look forward to seeing you at “Broadway on Bloomfield.” And we look forward to serving you as your community newsroom.