The Transylvania Times -

Motown Memories Goes Zero Waste


March 11, 2019

Rise & Shine’s annual fund raising gala, Motown Memories, scheduled for April 27, has set the goal of being a zero waste event. That means that there will be no waste generated that will go into the landfill. There will be no plastic or paper plates and glasses, plastic cutlery or paper napkins that would be thrown out after one use. Reusable plates, flatware, glasses and cloth napkins will be used instead. There will be no food scraps thrown into the trash. Instead, food scraps will be collected, and then composted or delivered to a local pig farm.

“We’re trying very hard to make Motown the first major fund raising gala to really go zero waste,” said Maureen Copelof, the event coordinator. “We want to be environmentally responsible. We have been teaching the Rise & Shine Scholars the importance of recycling whenever possible and eliminating single use plastics; teaching the scholars how to maintain a vegetable garden; how to compost and really respect the earth that we all live on. So, now it’s time to do what we teach.”

The challenge has been to make the event zero waste without incurring large additional costs. Motown Memories is the one annual fundraiser for Rise & Shine, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides tutoring and mentoring for minority and economically disadvantaged children. Keeping costs down in order to meet the fund raising target was very important.

Volunteers from Moving to Conservers, a local environmental group committed to reducing landfill waste, have stepped up to help the Motown team in organizing the change from disposable to reusable. They have coordinated with local businesses and individuals to obtain the 250 reusable place settings needed for the event, have worked out how to deliver, clean and return the place settings, and will be overseeing the collection of the food waste at the end of the evening.

“It’s amazing how many individuals and local businesses have stepped up to help out once we explained what we were trying to do,” said Kim Coram, one of the leaders of Moving to Conservers. “We can make a difference by just thinking differently about how to organize an event. Not only will there not be large bags of trash going to the landfill, but the dining experience will be more elegant. I hope other organizations will follow Rise & Shine’s lead and make their events zero waste.”

Even the Motown table decorations are being designed to be zero waste.

“We are looking at having organically grown pots of herbs as centerpieces. After the event some of these will be planted in the new Rise & Shine herb garden by the scholars and the rest auctioned off,” said Su Slover, the decorations chairperson.

Rise & Shine is grateful to the following groups and businesses that have stepped up and helped in the zero waste effort: Moving to Conservers, Cedar Mountain Cafe, Cedar Mountain Canteen, Oskar Blues Brewery, The Gallery at Flat Rock and many individuals.

Motown Memories is scheduled for April 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Straus Auditorium at Brevard Music Center. Tickets are $65 and include a full dinner with elegant place settings and decorations, entertainment and music, dancing, and an auction. If you don’t already have a ticket to Motown Memories, you can still purchase one at Highland Books, Broad Street Wines or Main Street Ltd.


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