FAQ about the Ball

Official Burlesque Ball FAQ

So what’s this now? And where is it?

Building on the very successful tradition we began in 2015 , when we hosted our first winter ball, we are once again throwing a big shindig for our community. This year, we decided to do it up in color with a new theme: Roaring ’20s Burlesque! This formal event is the perfect opportunity to show off your gown, sequined flapper, top hat and tails…or your corset, if you dare.

More importantly, this evening is a fundraiser. Your tax-deductible contribution, through the purchase of a ticket, sponsorship, ad or donation, will support RAD Kids, a North Jersey Pride program that providing a social support network for families of transgender and gender-fluid youth. RAD Kids connects parents and youth with other “RAD Families” as they navigate growing into their authentic selves.

This year, we’ve moved our affair to the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, N.J., where we’ll be able to spread out in the ballroom, with additional areas for buffet. Enjoy dining, dancing, live shows, silent auction and open bar all night long!

Is there parking at the venue?

Yes! The Grand Summit Hotel has a large parking lot on site with plenty of room.

Is there a group rate for hotel rooms?

So glad you asked! There is indeed a discounted rate ($129/single, $139/double) for guests of the ball. Just call to reserve your room (908)-273-3000 Ext. 165) or email them at reservations(at)grandsummit.com and be sure to tell them you’re with North Jersey Pride.

If this is a fundraiser, why are the tickets so darn affordable? Aren’t most fundraiser tickets in the $300-$400 range? 

Why, yes, they are! Our aim is to make the event  broadly accessible, so we’ve tried to keep costs, and therefore ticket prices, down. That said, it is our hope that those who can give more will do so by purchasing a Friend, Ally, Patron or higher level ticket and will enjoy receiving the additional benefits—and tax deductions—that go with that. You can purchase any of the above on the ticket site or learn more about them here.

So I don’t have to be a company to sponsor?

Not at all. We do welcome corporate sponsorship, of course, but any individual, couple or group can sponsor at any level and will receive the commensurate recognition and benefits—and tax deduction—that goes with it.

I work for a company that has an LGBTQ employee resource group and they might be interested in this, but want more information. How can they get in touch?

We’re happy to have that conversation with your company representative. Please send an email to sponsor@northjerseypride.org and we’ll take it from there.

What percentage of my ticket is tax deductible?

According to IRS rules, you may claim 80% of your ticket purchase price as a charitable donation. (It’s like getting in for free!)

Is this event kid-friendly?

We love kids…but no. The ball is for grown-ups only. So if your kids are over 21 and you don’t mind them watching you on the dance floor, be our guest.

I’m straight. Can I still attend?

Are you kidding?? We love our supportive allies! Not only can you attend, but we will roll out the red carpet for you. (Full disclosure: We will be rolling out a red carpet for everyone. But you can totally pretend it’s just for you.)

What is the attire, really? Do I have to wear a tux? (Or a corset?)

We realize, as an LGBTQ organization, that it’s best never to tell gay folk what to wear—and we have no desire to hamper your individual sartorial freedom of expression. But, like the Black & White Ball, the event will be formal and we encourage attendees to show off their best frocks. This is a chance to do it up—in color! Add a hot pink vest to your tuxedo or pull out that sequined gown you’ve been hiding in the back of the closet. Most of all, dress in whatever way makes you feel festive and happy and gender-comfy. (And if that means coming in drag, by all means!)

I live in the city. How big of a trek is this?

Great news! The Grand Summit Hotel is a half mile walk from the Summit Train Station, where you’ll find trains every hour to/from New York Penn Station. If you’re wearing heels, take a 2-minute Uber or Lyft ride from the station. Check NJ Transit for schedules of service from NYC.

How do I get my drink on?

There will be bars at the event with wine, beer, and spirits available, and it’s open bar all night. All attendees MUST be 21 or older. (IDs will be checked at the door.)

Can you tell me more about the cause my ticket will be supporting?

Proceeds from the Burlesque Ball will support RAD Kids, North Jersey Pride’s social support network for families of transgender and gender-fluid youth. RAD Kids offers gender-creative youth an affirming space for self-expression and empowers them to take their place in the world—exactly as they are. By connecting parents and youth with other “RAD Families,” both can receive help and support as these children navigate growing into their authentic selves. Since its launch in 2015, RAD Kids has seen attendance grow exponentially, with families coming from all over North Jersey, including Essex, Sussex, Bergen, Middlesex and Hudson counties. Events have included an end-of-summer beach party; bingo and potluck dinner; an afternoon at Jumpnasium; a facilitated discussion with a mental health professional specializing in gender issues; and most recently, a holiday party that drew more than 80 attendees—all by word of mouth. In response to the demand, we plan to expand the program in 2018 to monthly meetings and quarterly social outings, and will add a group for teens and tweens.

This sounds awesome! What can I do to help?

You are a true samaritan. We need volunteers! It’s a great way to meet people—and since most of the volunteer gigs that night are seated, you’ll have a chance to rest your tootsies. Please email us at volunteer@northjerseypride.org and we will put you to work!