WALL TOWNSHIP — A burn-the-mortgage fundraiser for Allaire Community Farm will be held this weekend at another farm, Sommers Farm on Herbertsville Road in Wall Township.
Art Sommers, an avid collector, will open his farm and his extension private collection of vintage cars, Civil War memorabilia and other historical artifacts to the public for the first time in over 20 years.
The event will help the nonprofit Allaire Community Farm pay off its $1.8 million mortgage, so that it can put more funds into its rescued barnyard animals and service programs to help teens and adults with mental health issues.
“[Mr. Sommers] wanted to do a fundraiser for the farm to help us pay off the mortgage, so he came up with this idea to open up his antique cars and Civil War memorabilia and have a band and food and make it a celebration,” Allaire Community Farm co-founder JoAnn Burney told The Coast Star.
Mr. Sommers’ extension collection to be on display includes:
- More than 75 antique cars
- President Abraham Lincoln’s hearse
- A vintage Duesenberg
- Antique tractors
- Extensive Civil War memorabilia
- 1950s diner with ice-cream parlor and general store
The event will also feature food, drink and live music from Just Us 2 and Company.
The fundraiser is on Saturday, July 24 from 1 – 6 p.m. at Sommers Farm located at 4051 Herbertsville Road. Tickets cost $100 and can be purchased online through Eventbrite at allairecommunityfarm.org or the farm’s Facebook page.
Allaire Community Farm, a 501[c] nonprofit, has already raised $200,000 in donations toward its goal, according to Ms. Burney.
“Local people have really come around us quite a bit already in anticipation of this,” she told The Coast Star.
Ms. Burney said that an anonymous benefactor to the farm has pledged to match all donations up to $500,000, as well.
“When another one of our benefactors heard about this event, she said I will pledge up to $500,000 matching gift for any checks that come in that day in the hope of paying off the mortgage, which is what the event is all about,” Ms. Burney said.
Ms. Burney said that once the farm’s mortgage is paid off, almost all of the future monies raised by the farm can go right toward benefiting its programs.
“The goal is, in these trying times we live in, to put the monies that come in into the programs without having to pay off the mortgage. Once we get rid of this $1.8 million mortgage, then the money raised goes directly back into the programs,” she said.
Allaire Community Farm helps special-needs individuals and their families of all ages, offering programs on the farm with its rescued animals. The programs focus on teens with mental health issues and families battling cancer in the local community.
The farm offers pre-employment education programs for the aged-out special-needs populations to help individuals find meaningful employment. Additionally, it offers equine and animal therapy for those in the community with special needs, anxiety, depression and PTSD.
The farm also offers programs teaching urban students about organic gardening practices.
Ms. Burney said that the farm will have an information table available at the fundraiser both for those interested in donating and those interested in the farm’s programs.
“We’re going to have an Allaire Community Farm table set up there sharing our programs and what we do and hopefully bring on some more supporters but also if there’s anyone that has a special needs family member, an at-risk family member or a family member with PTSD we’re hoping to get the word out on our programs also.”
“I hope that they see that this is a local nonprofit worthy of their philanthropic support if they have the means to donate,” Ms. Burney said.
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