Get your groove on for a good cause Friday night when the Alcove A Go Go rocks the Trop’s retro nightclub Boogie Nights.
Every weekend baby boomers hark back to their more youthful years when they visit Boogie Nights — the Tropicana club that set the standard and repeatedly raises the bar on reliving the decades of the ’70s and ’80s.
This Friday, March 1, youth will be served in a more philanthropic fashion, as Boogie Nights will play host to the Alcove A Go Go retro party to benefit the Alcove Center for Grieving Children and Families.
“A few years ago my friend [and Atlantic City Weekly columnist] David Spatz introduced me to the Alcove Center and explained to me what they do,” says Dave Pena, creator and operator of Boogie Nights. “I thought it was a wonderful and important cause, and provides a much-needed service to children and grieving families during difficult times.
“When David and I were taping the Boogie Nights reality series [a four-part series that aired last summer on Spatz’s NBC-TV 40 version of Curtain Call] he said that Boogie Nights at the Tropicana would be a perfect place to hold an Alcove fundraiser. We are super excited and honored to be the host venue, and are planning to throw one big party. We want everyone to have a blast and help the Alcove raise money.”
In a down economy, the need for monetary support is more difficult to come by and more important than ever according to Mindy Shemtov, director and co-founder of the center in 2001. She knew the need for bereavement support in southern New Jersey was great since her days as supervisor of the sexual assault program at the Atlantic County Women’s Center. Just how great the need came as somewhat of a shock when the center opened and quickly branched into a network of outreach programs, in-house counseling and professional services supported by plenty of volunteer assistance. No one at the Northfield-based Alcove Center — a large majority of whom are children grieving the untimely death of a parent or primary caregiver — is ever turned away, despite the non-profit organization subsisting entirely on donations, corporate or foundation grants, and fundraisers like the Alcove A Go Go.
“Since we’re not government supported, we have to raise every penny ourselves to keep this organization afloat so that we can be here for the children and their families,” says Shemtov who, along with retired Alcove co-founder Pat Smith, holds a Masters of Social Work degree. “That’s why these fundraisers are so important, so that we’re able to be here for everybody who needs us. And this one at Boogie Nights guarantees to be so much fun.”
Four children who have been a part of the Alcove Center’s programming have put together short testimonials that, in their own words, explain why the center’s future survival is so crucial.
“They were taped making their little speeches and we’ll play the tape at the event, so that people can really get a flavor for how important it is that we are here for them,” says Shemtov.
The party is scheduled for 6:30-9pm. A $75-per-person donation (group rates include four tickets for $240 or 10 for $500) will get partygoers passed hors d’oeuvres, complimentary beer and wine throughout the evening, a silent auction and raffle prizes, and a live auction featuring four signed prints of iconic figures from the rock ‘n’ roll world — including Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Jon Bon Jovi and Donna Summer — taken and donated by the preeminent rock photographer of the last 40 years, Mark Weiss (visit markweissgallery.com).
“Boogie Nights has been a popular choice for fundraising and group events since it opened last May,” says Tropicana general manager Steve Callender. “The ’70s and ’80s theme provides a fun light-hearted atmosphere, which will be the perfect backdrop for this event.”