Publisher Liz George addresses the crowd at Montclair Local’s relaunch party and fundraiser, “A Night Out for News,” at Porta Montclair on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. (KATE ALBRIGHT / FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)

Montclair came out to celebrate and support local journalism in a big way Thursday night at “A Night Out for News.” The successful event, held upstairs at the fabulous Porta Montclair, raised much needed funds for Montclair’s independent nonprofit news organization and underscored the importance of ensuring the future of local journalism in Montclair.

“Montclair Local is grateful for the incredible community support and the generosity of our amazing sponsors, as well as more than 150 attendees who celebrated the launch of the new Montclair Local as an all-digital news organization incorporating Baristanet,” said Montclair Local publisher Liz George. “Thank you to Montclair resident Zain Asher, anchor of CNN’s One World with Zain Asher, for speaking so passionately about the importance of local news.”

“We thank our board of directors — Jonathan Bellack, Trei Brundrett, Kathleen Carroll, Jennifer Dorr-Moon, Stephen Engelberg, Holly Shakoor Fleischer, Ollie Hartsfield, Justin Jamail, David Jones, Meredith Levine, Vate Powell, Jake Silverstein and Jason White — who have dedicated so much of their time to support Montclair Local and its mission,” said George.  

Montclair Local raised close to $65,000, thanks to generous sponsors, ticket sales, raffle purchases for fantastic prizes generously donated by supporters, and the fantastic “Night Out For News” committee and volunteers, led by Dorr-Moon, Levine and Shakoor Fleischer.

We’ve seen news outlets all over the country–and right here in Montclair–become shadows of their former selves. Help us ensure that Montclair Local not only survives but thrives and continues to evolve as a news organization to keep you informed for years to come. Liz George, publisher of Montclair Local

Music by Owls and Lions and DJ Jay Della Valle of Spinners Entertainment kept guests grooving all night long. Magician Gianni Palumbo made the night even more magical by amazing and entertaining guests. Guests ended the night with sweet treats from Little Daisy Bake Shop and took home a beautiful reminder of the light local independent news shines on issues that matter — in the form of a candle donated by Joanna Howard Home.

Montclair resident and CNN anchor, Zain Asher, expresses her enthusiasm for local journalism at Montclair Local’s relaunch party and fundraiser, “A Night Out for News,” at Porta Montclair on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. (KATE ALBRIGHT / FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)

I want Montclair to have a strong local news organization because local news promotes civic engagement, increases democratic participation, and stimulates the town’s economy. Local news drives connection and cohesion and helps neighbors come together around shared values and action. Montclair Local embodies and champions everything I cherish about Montclair: Its communal spirit, its vibrancy, its pluralism. That’s why I’m dedicated to supporting it. Zain Asher, Montclair resident and anchor of CNN’s One World with Zain Asher.

“A Night Out For News” is just the beginning. Like many nonprofits serving our town, Montclair Local needs ongoing community support to bring you independent local journalism. Make a sustaining contribution of as little as $10 a month to help keep our newsroom going strong and reporting on the things that matter to you – government, education, culture, sports and more. Give more with a donation to keep local news accessible to all. And subscribe to our daily newsletter so you never miss a story, including news of future events. Thanks to all the wonderful people who celebrated and supported Montclair Local, pictured below in our slideshow.

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