MONTCLAIR, NJ - Parents Who Rock held its 12th Annual show and fundraiser on Saturday, September 9. Proceeds went to support a local organization founded by Montclair Police officer Garth Guthrie and his wife, Madeline.
This year's show raised funds to benefit Reaching Out Montclair, an organization founded by the two Montclair residents. The organization, which started with humble beginnings, is now expanding to help many more residents.
Musical performances took place from 12-5 pm at the corner of Cedar Ave. and High Street. Hosts Alma Schnider and Brian Saltzman kept the program consistently moving along in a festive manner.
Reaching Out Montclair formally began in 2016 when the Guthrie's noticed that many in their community needed food. Soon, they partnered with Toni’s Kitchen and began giving out dinners from the back of their van. They also provided support for Montclair's growing Latino population.
Seeing that many of the families and seniors citizens they were assisting were growing, the Guthrie's then set up a regular grocery delivery for those in need. This endeavor soon began servicing and helping approximately 40 families each week.
As they gained the trust of families, they sought out donations of clothes, shoes, furniture and other items.
The mission of Reaching Out Montclair is to provide essential needs for underserved families in the Montclair Community. They have evolved to now help in whatever capacity a family or individual may need, from social services, to back to school supplies, to ESL classes.
Alma Schneider, founder of Parents Who Rock and Alma's Take Back the Kitchen, said, "I met Madeline at a Volleyball game. I kept hearing about what she and her husband were doing from the Township of Montclair's Mayor Robert Jackson and this was around the time that Montclair was discussing becoming a Sanctuary City. I put out a call to the community and here we are today."
A full roster of entertainers who performed, ranged from rock, folk songs, to original works and covers by local musicians and vocalists below:
Ellen Paretti and Tim Occonor
Liz and Mark
Meg Beattie Patrick and Michael Ferrara
The TNT Ramblers
Sarah Otazo and Bruce Maxwell
Alma Schneider and Kevin Kurland
Lily Vakili Band
Abandon Ship Band
KC SM and the Tantrums
Alsoin attendance were The Flower Lady & her granddaughter, The Blossom, who demonstrated the basics of flower arranging and working with fresh and silk flowers, how to select fresh flowers, selecting a container, developing an arrangement and how to add the finishing touch.
Hands on activity included an opportunity for children to create a small arrangement of their own and an instrument exhange. There were also beauty products for the body and hair, massages by Vanessa Vozar and bracelets created by Schneider's son Lincoln. There seemed to be a little something for everyone.
While there was no cost to get in, donations were collected for those who chose to give.
In speaking with Mrs. Guthrie, she said, "We saw a need in the community. As a wife, I want to assist my husband in doing what we can."
She added, "We have a series of community events and workshops scheduled starting October 30, 2017. The ESL course begins at Glenfield School (English Second Language), November 21, 2017 there will be a Thanksgiving meal and food drive and on December 18, 2017, a Secret Snowman Gift Drive."
"God gave me another chance. He's already taken care of me, so I'm going to take care of others," she added.
Currently, Reaching Out Montclair is located in Lackawanna Plaza by appointment only. For contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Members include Bobbi Brown, Steven Plofker, Rose Cali, Amy Rosen, Robin Schlager, Michael Bateman, Tara Tersigni, Madeline Guthrie and Garth Guthrie.
For information on Parents who Rock, go to www.parentswhorock.com