The Friends of the Ocean City Pops is a group of volunteer supporters organized to promote excellence in the programming, performance, and continuing development of the Ocean City Pops Orchestra.
The Friends host a variety of fundraising activities and actively solicit contributions from individuals and businesses that share their love for the Pops. Fundraising activities include an annual season opening gala, a summer luncheon, and periodic parties and events. In addition, the Friends present special fundraising concerts with outstanding musicians.
Monies raised from these activities significantly augment the Pops. In 2009 the funds helped to pay for (1) solo performers and specialty acts, (2) the season brochure and program books, (3) two additional musicians for the season (funded by the Friends’ Ruggieri Society), (4) extra musicians for the augmented Orchestra, (5) accommodations for visiting performers, (6) purchase and rental of musical scores, (7) additional rehearsals and (8) student outreach programs.
The annual summer luncheons have featured guest speakers such as NJ State Senator Diane Allen and artists such as Barbara Dever, Margaret Whiting, and Elizabeth von Trapp.
Concerts have included Opera Night at the PAC, Broadway Salutes, Philadelphia Boys Choir, Leon Bates, Canadian Brass, and the Ahn Trio.
The Friends have established an endowment fund that will provide a source of income into the future. They have created a unique gift opportunity by forming The Ruggieri Society. This Society provides funding for specific projects including two extra musicians for the season. Named for late Maestro Frank Ruggieri, it provides a unique gift opportunity helping to ensure the summer Music Pier series will continue for many generations.
In 2011, the Friends also started the SES (Scheible Encore Society) to further enrich the Pops' Orchestra.
The Friends of the Ocean City Pops, Inc. was incorporated in 1993 as a non-profit 501 (C)(3) organization. It is an all-volunteer group with no paid staff.