SOMA Gathered at Our Celebrating Integration Fundraiser

We honored two amazing community members--Gail Safian and Dr. Ahadi Bugg-Levine!

Celebrating Integration is the Coalition’s annual fundraiser held each October. We gathered to celebrate the efforts of all our trustees, staff, volunteers, community participants, and our financial supporters who make it so that we can stay the course on our mission of stable racial integration, equity, and true inclusion. At this year’s event, held at Orange Lawn Tennis Club in South Orange, the trustees honored two outstanding SOMA community members, Gail Safian and Dr. Ahadi Bugg-Levine (see their amazing bios here). These exceptional women are models of community giving through their volunteer work and their careers.

Nearly 200 people gathered at the celebration which included dancing to live music provided by Essex Funk Collective, a local eclectic R&B band. Among the guests were town leaders Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis, South Orange Village President Sheena Collum, Chief Sally of Maplewood, Chief Morillo of South Orange, Maplewood Township Committee members Deb Engel and Vic DeLuca (who was the evening’s auctioneer), Superintendent Dr. Ronald Taylor, and Board of Education members Kaitlin Wittleder, Nubia Duvall Wilson, Qawi Telesford, and Arun Vadlamani. Assemblywoman Mila Jasey provided proclamations to honorees and the organization. Sponsors included The Able Baker, Dr. Ahadi & Antony Bugg-Levine, Kelly Quirk & Martin Ceperley, Beth & Paul Daugherty, Durand-Hedden House & Garden Board, Anita Gundanna, JESPY House, John & Leslie Kerner, National Staffing Associates, Fred & Susan Profeta, Seton Hall University, Ed & Nancy Stuart, and The Tugentman Family. The Coalition is grateful for their partnership in its racial justice work.

Have a look at this wonderful night in these pictures from Tracy Sham Photography!









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