The Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce wanted its annual showcase to be an unforgettable event, given its proximity to Super Bowl XLVIII, the first Super Bowl in Bergen County. The chamber’s “Super Community Spirit Showcase” drew nonprofits, professional football players and a total of roughly 1,000 attendees to the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel’s grand ballroom on Jan. 22, 2014.
The Mahwah Chamber has members from more than 90 communities in its region consisting of retail, professional, service and corporate businesses, among others. Their mission is to advance the prosperity of the greater Mahwah region and to help businesses and individual citizens thrive. Founded in 1957, the Chamber pays particular attention to the region’s business, social, civic, cultural and educational interests.
Organizers chose “teamwork” as the theme of the 2014 showcase. Their goal was to translate the Super Bowl’s spirit of teamwork to Mahwah, according to the Mahwah Patch. In the weeks leading up to the Super Community Spirit Showcase, they received support from elected officials and the New York - New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee. Local politicians and chamber members held a kickoff luncheon in September.
“This is something we do each year, and I think it's one of our events that really does a great job promoting teamwork,” Chamber Executive Director Sharon Rounds told NorthJersey.com. “We are proud to have it sanctioned by the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee.”
In addition to attracting 1,000 guests, the event hosted 100 nonprofits. Representatives from the nonprofits shared literature and spoke about the goals of their individual organizations.
“Nonprofits don’t operate without a team of volunteers. Businesses don’t operate without a team of employees. And we, as a Chamber, couldn’t operate without all of our members working as a team toward the same initiatives,” Chamber President Martha Harvey told the Mahwah Patch in September.
Attendees enjoyed silent and live auctions for football memorabilia, as well as raffles, food and drink. They also had a chance to help participating nonprofits by voting for their favorite. The nonprofit with the most votes will receive 10% of the net proceeds of the event, according to NorthJersey.com.
The chamber plans to announce the winning nonprofit at its annual luncheon in March, 2014. Meanwhile, Super Bowl XLVIII is scheduled at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2. The game, which features the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, will be the first Super Bowl played at the venue.
Organizers saw the Super Community Spirit Showcase as an opportunity to highlight the community as it receives national attention from the big game and to exemplify its teamwork theme. This year’s showcase gave a voice to nonprofits, a prize to one nonprofit and helped to rally the community around the Super Bowl.