SOMA Brewing Donates $2,500 to Achieve Foundation’s Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative

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From The Achieve Foundation and SOMA Brewing:

On September 30th, SOMA Brewing Co. brought their popular Oktoberfest at The Woodland back to the community. Hundreds of people of all ages turned out to enjoy the free event that included music, arts & crafts, food and drink. As in past years, the organizers have generously donated proceeds from the event to the Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative (VPMI), a fund managed by the Achieve Foundation. This year, that amounted to $2,500!

“We are grateful to the owners of SOMA Brewing for choosing the VPMI as the recipient of the Oktoberfest funds again this year, underscoring their belief in the importance of access to arts education opportunities for all students in our community,” said Achieve’s Executive Director Eileen Collins Neri.

SOMA Brewing Company co-founder Adam Heydt addedWe are proud to partner with VPMI and the Achieve Foundation to foster music education in our schools and support this impactful music initiative!”

The VPMI was established by Vanessa and Charlie Pollock in January of 2015 to improve music resources and expand access to music education for all students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District. Specifically, VPMI funds are used to underwrite instrument rentals so all students can participate in band and orchestra at the elementary and middle school levels; provide scholarship awards for private music lessons or professional-grade instruments for Columbia High School students who have demonstrated exceptional musical talent; refurbish instruments owned by the District; and fulfill grant requests from SOMSD faculty that relate to music education.

Ms. Pollock was thrilled with this investment in the music initiative:Charlie and I are amazed by the generosity of the SOMA Brewing owners and our community. We thank everyone who attended Oktoberfest and made this possible, and hope to see everyone again at our upcoming annual holiday concert!”

The next fundraising effort for the VPMI will be “Light Up the Holidays: Charlie Pollock & Friends Holiday Concert” on Friday, December 1st at 7pm. The concert, sponsored by Pollock Properties Group and Matt Keane Mortgage, is open to all. Learn more and reserve tickets at

About SOMA Brewing

Over drinks at the neighborhood pub, the idea of SOMA Brewing Company was born of the Froelich and Heydt families’ desire to keep it local. Both families live and are active in SOMA, and between them have five school-aged children. This made the idea of making craft beer for locals by locals an easy decision. 

About the Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood

The Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood is a registered 501(c)3 organization that promotes high-quality education that prepares South Orange-Maplewood School District students for the future. We support our students, families and educators by addressing inequities, inspiring innovation and fostering community. Since 1999, Achieve has invested over $4.5 million for programs that further public education in our two towns. To learn more, please visit



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