ROXBURY, NJ – It looks like the word “annual” will precede future mentions of the Roxbury PBA 311 Fall Fest, a fundraiser that was so successful its organizers are already thinking about doing it again in 2016.
The Oct. 17 event, at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel in Mount Arlington, drew about 379 people – each paying $60 to attend – according to Roxbury PBA 311 President Jack Sylvester. The union had a 500-ticket limit for the event.
“It was very successful,” said Sylvester, a Roxbury police detective. “We raised more than we expected.”
At the Fall Fest, attendees got to sample food from several Roxbury area restaurants, craft beer, wine, top-shelf liquor, chocolates and cigars. Live music was provided by Stereo Junkies, a popular local cover-band.
“I talked to a lot people and all the restaurants that came, all the vendors that came, were very happy,” said Sylvester.
He said his colleagues were also pleased. “We made a lot of money and it was super successful so everybody wants to do it again next year, including the vendors,” said Sylvester.
As is to be expected with a first-ever event, there were a few glitches. A cold snap kept some people from venturing out of the Marriot lobby and into the large, heated tent area where the band and other food and beverage vendors were situated. Although the tent could hold about 700 people, the most it saw at one time during the party was about 200, said Sylvester.
He said some folks at the event were unaware the tent was part of the deal, assuming it was for a wedding.
He said his goal of convincing more of the food and beverage providers to set-up in the tent was waylaid early in the night when the band tripped an electrical circuit-breaker, a situation that needed his attention. “I think maybe we will have a little more structure next year,” said the detective.
“I think next year, on our part, we will assign some vendor tables rather than let them pick. But, overall, I got nothing but positive reviews.”
The PBA will use some of the money to renovate the police locker room. It also keeps a kitty of funds that it uses to help Roxbury people dealing with hardship.