HARDYSTON, N.J. - When Beckie Sajban and Ryan Spadaccini founded Painted Grape in July 2014, they wanted to share the fun of painting and crafts with customers of all ages. That fun has become a productive way for area non-profit organizations and local groups to also raise needed funds while enjoying some creative expression and socializing at the Hardyston craft and paint studio.

In the past year, Sajban estimates that more than $4000 has already been raised through fundraising events held at or sponsored by Painted Grape, located at 3640 Route 94. Beneficiaries include the American Cancer Society, local fire departments and the Vernon school district’s schools and sports teams.

“We’re proud that we can offer something inspired, artistic, and more important, fun, especially when it also supports the fabric of our community,” said co-owner Sajban. “Last year, we helped raise nearly $1800 in three months after we opened, and in 2015 we are on track to raise approximately $2500 through our events

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This is in addition to the various auction and in-kind donations we’ve made to the schools, recreation departments, a dance school and fraternal organizations, which helped raise an additional $1,000 for local not-for-profits,” she added.

Painted Grape offers group classes and private parties for children and adults in its Hardyston and Burlington, N.C. locations. Participants paint on canvases, wine glasses and glass blocks, create handmade craft projects, or decorate various predesigned crafts.

The studios also host fundraisers for area associations and non-profit organizations. The money raised through Painted Grape events helps fund research for major diseases; enables area schools, teams and fire departments to purchase equipment or upgrade facilities, and provides scholarships. Painted Grape in Hardyston is also a participating business in the Veterans Discount Program in Morris and Sussex counties.

The Hardyston studio helped raise money in early October for the American Cancer Society and hosted a Ladies Night Out on November 6 to benefit the American Childhood Cancer Organization, and one at the end of the month for White Rock Lake in Oak Ridge.

On November 21, Painted Grape will hold a “Create Your Own Masterpiece” event to benefit the School Community Association of Walnut Ridge Primary School in Vernon.

“We look forward to providing our children with a quality family program at the studio, while generating funds for future activities that enhance the students' overall learning experience at our school,” said Kim Rivera, president of the Walnut Ridge Primary School SCA.

Sajban said she is already taking calls about hosting community fundraisers in 2016 and encourages families to consider adding a community outreach component to their children’s parties. “When local businesses and residents work together, we can all make a difference for others in our area,” she said.

To book a private party, sign up for a class, or to discuss a fundraiser for a not-for-profit organization in Sussex County, contact Beckie Sajban at (973) 823-1464 or info@paintedgrapenj.com; For a list and schedule of art and craft classes for children and adults, visit www.paintedgrapenj.com.