A Hip Cocktail Party at a Swanky Lounge Supports a Righteous Cause

W Hotel of New Orleans partners with SOSNOLA to raise funds for a valuable student workshop series.

New Orleans, LA, January 06, 2010 --(PR.com)-- What better reason to raise a glass after work than to toast talented students working to improve their public schools?

Save Our Schools NOLA and the W Hotel are hosting a cocktail hour fundraiser at the W’s posh Zöe Lounge on Wednesday, January 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The party will raise funds for SOSNOLA’s “Finding Our Voices” 2010 Student Workshop Series.

Party guests will be treated to complimentary New Orleans Rum specialty drinks and signature hors d’oeuvres by Zöe’s popular new chef Chris Brown; to the energy of a live DJ spinning lounge and Jazz music; and to a raffle for a chance to win a luxury Prize Package including a one night stay at the W. Guests will enjoy all this and support an important learning experience for public school students.

“We are so excited to be a part of this important initiative. Continuing the improvement of our community of inspired youths is vital to moving New Orleans forward,” said Angela Thompson, General Manager of W Hotels of New Orleans.

Approximately 40 students will participate in “Finding Our Voices”. The series of 10 free workshops hosted by SOSNOLA and held over a 4-month period begins Saturday, January 23, 2010 with a meet and greet for interested New Orleans public school students, and culminates in an original production - written, created, and performed by the students – that will be the highlight of SOSNOLA’s annual Shindig Fundraiser & Community Celebration in April.

The workshops provide critical training, resources and support that empower students to identify, articulate and deliver their vision for the future of local public education. The student presentation at the Shindig – an expression of their visions, skills and talents –helps motivate a broad constituency (an audience of parents, teachers, school staff, civic, city and state leaders) to recognize their own responsibility and role in improving New Orleans public schools.

“SOSNOLA is building a strong foundation for an annual celebratory event that community members look forward to participating in,” says Executive Director Angela Daliet. “Our Shindig highlights the achievements of students and the improvements of public schools and the student presentation is vital to its success. The student workshops are of extraordinary value and are a transformative step to helping our most important public education stakeholders advocate for themselves.”

Students participating in the free workshops will be guided in developing their ideas for the presentation by performance and acting coaches. New Orleans Actors Resource Center (NOARC)—a new nonprofit “dedicated to the advancement, exposure, and education of actors in the New Orleans Metropolitan area” and to “enhancing the good of the community through the dramatic arts”—has partnered with SOSNOLA on the workshop series and will work closely with the students to develop stage presence and delivery.

To ensure the best learning experience for these young talents, SOSNOLA secures a practice space and provides food, beverages and materials for the workshops at an incurred cost of $7 per student per workshop. For one student to complete the full series, SOSNOLA incurs a total expense of $70.

Ticket price for the cocktail hour fundraiser at Zöe Lounge is $7: the cost of sponsoring one child for one workshop.

For more information or to schedule an interview contact Angela Daliet at (504) 416-3146 or email to adaliet@sosnola.org.

Save Our Schools NOLA is a grassroots nonprofit founded and led by public school parents. SOSNOLA believes when parents and community members are informed and connected around common concerns and a shared vision, they will be effective advocates for equity and excellence in public education, ultimately making New Orleans a better place to live.

SOSNOLA is building parent and community demand for equal access to excellent public schools for children in New Orleans in three specific ways: Informing the community around public education issues; Organizing an allied constituency of parents and residents; Advocating for policy and practice changes that support better equity and quality. Visit www.sosnola.org for more information.

About W Hotels of New Orleans
Offering two unique hotels, W Hotels of New Orleans has whatever you want, whenever you want it. Voted number one hotel in New Orleans in 2008 and one of the top three hotels in New Orleans in 2009 by Gambit Weekly readers, W New Orleans is truly a savvy traveler’s dream come true. The property boasts 423 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Delight in Zoë, featuring innovative New Orleans cuisine. For those looking for a more intimate experience, wander to W French Quarter, recently named to the Travel + Leisure 2009 World’s Top 500 Hotels list and experience the charm and warmth of the French Quarter. Dine beneath Venetian chandeliers and angels at Bacco, owned and operated by Ralph Brennan. For more information, visit www.whotels/neworleans.

Save Our Schools NOLA
Angela Daliet