The annual "STRIVE Rocks" all-night fundraiser kicked off Friday night, March 7, at 8 pm. The event, held over Zoom this year, ended twelve hours later at 8 am, Saturday, March 8th. Participants danced throughout the night with special themes each hour, and they played games, received prizes, and got to hear from bands, DJs, and Maine celebrities. All the proceeds from the event went to PSL Services also known as STRIVE.
The South Portland-based non-profit organization, PSL Services/STRIVE, has been hosting the popular fundraising event 'STRIVE Rocks' for 17 years. The event is one of STRIVE’s biggest fundraisers of the year and all the money raised goes back towards STRIVE programs. STRIVE offers programs for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them with their educational, social, and vocational goals.
The STRIVE Rocks event used to be held at the Cross Insurance Center, but for the second year in a row, the event was held virtually to comply with COVID-19 guidelines. The Associate Director at STRIVE, Peter Brown, explains how going virtual has a silver lining.
“One of the exciting things about it being on Zoom is we actually have a lot of people this year that are getting involved in the event from outside of our general area, and even throughout the country. You know, that we have people coming from all over the country to get involved. I’m really excited to see those people come together for a really good cause and have a fun night,” says Brown.
Brown adds that he believes STRIVE has learned a lot since their last year’s virtual event and has worked hard to take all good things from the live event and introduce it in a virtual setting.
“[STRIVE Rocks has] something for everyone. Between dancing and being up all night, and it has just an opportunity for people to get involved and do all kinds of things from, you know, we have different theme hours, and costumes, and prizes, and bands, and DJs, and special celebrity guests throughout the night," says Brown.
Some celebrity guests, either as a pre-recorded message or live included Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, News Center Maine’s Pat Callaghan, WGME’s Katie Sampson, astronaut Chris Cassidy, and the New England Garrisons, to name a few.
At the end of STRIVE Rocks 2021, they announced a total of $104,840 dollars raised. That is almost $20,000 more than what was raised last year at $86,252.92.