The Salt Creek Grille’s 14th Annual Wine & Martini Tasting Fundraiser held on April 6 raised over $90,000 in funds for 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc., a not-for-profit organization providing services to individuals and their families affected by domestic violence. Salt Creek Grille also reached its $1 million mark in total funds raised for local charities through the annual event which began in 2004 to celebrate the restaurant’s 5th anniversary.
“One restaurant, one million dollars in donated funds to our local charities!” said Steve Bidgood, co-owner Salt Creek Grille and well-known local philanthropist. “We are happy to help! And I thank my vendors, the sponsors, friends and employees who helped make this possible! Salt Creek has supported dozens of charities with missions supporting children’s needs. This event will support 180’s children’s art therapy program, Amanda’s Easel. We commend the work 180 is doing to help victims and their children cope with the trauma caused by domestic violence and we are happy to do our part to support the organization’s great work.”
Terra cotta pots planted with succulents and painted by children enrolled in Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program served as colorful and meaningful centerpieces on tabletops. To thank Bidgood for his generous contributions, Anna Diaz-White, 180’s Executive Director and Lynn Lucarelli, Development Director, presented a framed commemorative piece that included a child’s rendition of the entrance to 180’s safe house – an emergency shelter located here in Monmouth County which houses those fleeing domestic abuse.
The sold out event was sponsored by Two River Community Bank, the premiere, exclusive “Presenting Sponsor”, Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., PWM Advisory Group, Withum Wealth Management, Mariners Wealth Advisors, Newport Capital Group, Cornerstone Global Commodities, Riverview Medical Center, VirginaTesi Design, Inc., Richard and Ana Blank, New Jersey Natural Gas and an anonymous donor.
“Being selected as the 14th recipient of this community event was a true honor for 180 Turning Lives Around and we thank Biddy and Salt Creek Grille for believing in our mission and dedicating time to us. We promise to be excellent stewards of the funds raised and we will continue to ensure that the women and children in Monmouth County who are impacted by domestic and sexual violence receive the healing services from our caring organization. With funds raised through this event 180 can provide support and emotional recovery to families at our Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy program helping families move forward into a life free from violence and breaking the cycle of abuse through our child-centered, trauma informed, creative art therapies.” said Lynn Lucarelli, 180 Director of Development.
The event is made possible through donations made by Salt Creek Grille and its vendors and local businesses providing sumptuous amounts of food, wine and services. As in past years, several wine vendors poured premium wines and spirits to taste, while Sickles Market, Little Silver, provided a cheese table and Lusty Lobster, Highlands a raw bar. Live music was provided by The Bobby Boyd Trio and the live auction was overseen by the event’s auctioneer, NJ 101.5’s Big Joe Henry.
Past charities that benefitted from the event: 2016 Michael’s Feat; 2015 Kortney Rose Foundation; 2014 Hope For Children Foundation; 2013 Big Brothers Big Sisters; 2012 Count Basie Performing Arts Academy; 2011 Community YMCA; 2010 K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital (Meridian); 2009 Parker Family Health Center; 2008 Kidz Kare (Monmouth Medical Center); 2007 SPUR; 2006 COSAC; 2005 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; 2004 Tuberous Sclerosis.