Official Black & White Ball FAQ
What is this shindig?
Last year, we realized that a year was just too long to go without a big, festive, celebratory Pride fix, so we introduced the Black & White Ball, a night to rescue us all from the dreariness of winter, a chance to ditch the rubber boots, get gussied up and come out to party with our amazing LGBTQ and Ally community. Our inaugural event was a huge success and sold out in record time, so we’ve brought it back, bigger and better than before!
And yes, the evening is also a fundraiser. North Jersey Pride is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is committed to serving LGBTQ youth and family not only during Pride month, but all year long. Your tax-deductible contribution, through the purchase of a ticket, sponsorship, ad or donation, will support a variety of youth-oriented programming, including our Pride month educational and community-building activities and our “Stand Up, Speak Out” program that brings LGBTQ youth into elementary and middle schools to teach students the importance of kindness, respect, and acceptance.
If this is a fundraiser, why are the tickets so darn affordable?
So glad you asked. We believe it’s important to involve the entire community in giving back and therefore want this event to be broadly accessible. 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 deduction—that go with that.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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. Unless your kids are over 21. Then it’s up to you to decide whether you want them watching you on the dance floor.
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 rent a tux?
You do not. (Although we think you would rock a tux so we arranged for a 25% discount at a local supportive business, Top Hat & Tails, 1856 Springfield Ave. in Maplewood.) We know, 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, in the spirit of Truman Capote’s 1966 Black & White Ball, the majority of attendees will be donning elegant white and/or black for the occasion, and many will have masks as well. We encourage you to do likewise and to dress in whatever way makes you feel festive and happy and gender-comfy. (And if that means coming in drag, by all means!) One note of caution: There will be dancing. So unless you’re a member of the cast of Kinky Boots and accustomed to kickin’ it in stilts, we suggest leaving the 9-inch stilettos at home.
Wait—is it a costume ball?
No, no. No costumes necessary. Masks only, and they’re optional. (See Mia and Frank below.) We will be giving out masks, too, so if you don’t have one, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered.
Is there parking at the venue?
Yes, The Woodland does have parking and there is street parking around the venue as well, on Woodland Ave., Maplewood Ave. and Durand St.
I live in the city. How big of a trek is this?
Great news! The Woodland is just two blocks away from the Maplewood Train Station, where you’ll find trains every hour to/from New York Penn Station, a lovely 40-minute direct ride. Check NJ Transit for the schedule deets.
How do I get my drink on?
There will be bars at the event with wine, beer, and spirits available. You will be able to purchase drink tickets on site, and both cash and credit cards will be accepted. If you choose to purchase a Friend, Ally or higher levels of sponsor tickets, you will receive complimentary drink tickets with your admission. All attendees MUST be 21 or older.
This sounds awesome! What can I do to help?
You are a true samaritan. We need volunteers! If you are available for shifts before and during the event, please contact our volunteer coordinator at email@example.com.
What’s in it for me?
Aside from the deep and lasting satisfaction you will have from helping a wonderful organization in need, you also get two free drink tickets.
Have more questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.