McCarter Theater Center hosts its annual gala on Saturday, May 4, featuring Tony and Grammy Award-winning singer and actor Leslie Odom Jr. The evening raises significant funds for McCarter, enabling the organization to bring world-class performing arts and outstanding education programs to the community.
Odom, best known for his breakout role as Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” performs in the 1,100-seat Matthews Theater after a cocktail reception in the theater’s outdoor tent. Dinner, a live auction, music, and dancing follow the performance.
Annual Gala, McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton. Saturday, May 4, 7 p.m. $75, performance only. $300, cocktails and performance. Dinner is sold out. 609-258-2787 or www.mccarter.org.
Nearly 300 guests are expected at PEI Kids’ 28th annual gala and auction, “Denim & Diamonds at The Boathouse,” which is being held on Friday, May 10, at the Boathouse at Mercer Lake in West Windsor. This fundraising event is a festive evening of casual elegance, featuring live and silent auctions, live entertainment, complimentary beer and wine, hors d’oeuvres, dinner stations, dessert, a wine pull, and the chance to win valuable diamond jewelry in the event’s signature Champagne Drawing.
The highlight of the evening is Denim & Diamonds’ live auction. Among this year’s items are a trip for four to Fenway Park in Boston to see the Yankees take on the Red Sox; a one-week luxury-condo vacation in Williamsburg, VA; and seats in the NBC Sport Suite for a Phillies home game.
Also up for auction is a denim-and-diamonds package valued at over $4,000 featuring high-quality diamond jewelry donated by Hamilton Jewelers coupled with a denim Coach handbag set. All told more than 40 items, experiences, and packages will be available for bidding in the live and silent auctions.
Established in 1985, PEI Kids is a nonprofit organization with a mission dedicated to promoting and maintaining a safe environment for all children. PEI Kids works with the child, family, and educators to provide prevention, education and intervention programs relating to personal safety, sexual abuse, and the overall wellbeing of the child.
Denim & Diamonds, Boathouse at Lake Mercer, 334 South Post Road, West Windsor. Friday, May 10, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. $150. 609-695-3739 or www.peikids.org.
‘Forty years ago, New Jersey had over 8,000 people with disabilities segregated in large, congregate institutions” says Robert Stack, president and CEO of Community Options.
Community Options was incorporated as a nonprofit in New Jersey in 1989. Its mission to develop housing and employment for persons with developmental disabilities. Its headquarters are still in Princeton.
Community Options celebrates its 30th anniversary on Thursday, May 9, in the McCarter Theater tent at Princeton University. Phil Lian, a Princeton resident, and Delia Donahue from Pepper Hamilton are co-chairing the event with the goal of raising $1 million.
“We were able to place people who were inappropriately left in these large institutions and purchase small homes, hire staff and help them obtain jobs or meaningful programs and return them to their local communities,” Stack says.
With more than 5,600 staff nationwide, Community Options supports thousands of persons with disabilities. We bag your groceries, butter your popcorn, clean your offices and even deliver flowers from our very own stores” says Managing Director Andrew Park.
Park is preparing for the May opening of Vaseful, a flower shop staffed by people with disabilities, next to Conte’s Pizza on Witherspoon Street. Community Options also operates Daily Plan Its, office complexes rented to entrepreneurs staffed by persons with disabilities.
“Today we want parents to know that they are not alone. There are agencies like ours and others to support their child regardless of the severity of their disabilities. We have a strong national infrastructure, but our expertise is developing and providing strong services for the person to live in a beautiful home and have a job they enjoy,” Stack says.
Community Options 30th Anniversary Gala, McCarter Theater Tent, 91 University Place, Princeton. Thursday, May 9, 5:30 to 10 p.m. $400. www.comop.org.
Van Harlingen Historical Society
The Van Harlingen Historical Society celebrates its 40th anniversary with an invitation to come and discover how local farmers are bringing the farm-to-table movement to Montgomery on Saturday, May 11.
Fascinating tidbits about Montgomery farms of yesterday and today will be shared on a bus tour, with stops at three Montgomery farms: Bridgepoint Run, Cherry Valley Cooperative (CVC), and Greenflash Farm, where a “farm-to-table” lunch will be served.
A short film, “Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past and Present,” which features Bridgepoint Run and CVC, will also be shown during lunch.
Attendees will be greeted by and led in a farm tour by the farmers who own and work at each farm; all certified organic.
Bridgepoint Run Farm in Belle Mead lies on land that has been farmed since the 1740s. Farmer Dale Johnson’s great-grandfather bought the farm 90 years ago and the family raised dairy cows there for 50 years.
Cherry Valley Cooperative in Skillman is “dedicated to growing healthy food using resilient ecological stewardship.” Hosts and farmers Alec Giosetti and Lauren Nagy will discuss the farm’s integrated connection to nature.
The lunch stop on the tour will be Greenflash Farm in Blawenburg. It was originally part of the Gallup farm on Meadowview Road. Farmers Stephen Back and Wendy Golden came to the farm three years ago and completed its transition to organic last year. The farm grows produce and flowers and raises free-range chickens and pigs. A luncheon showcasing “a wealth of local farm produce” will be served in Greenflash’s historic and restored timbered barn.
Tickets are $50, $40 for lunch only. Tours start at 8:45 and 11:30 a.m. at the Princeton Elks Club on Route 518. www.vanharlingen.org/may-in-montgomery-our-farms-to-your-tables.