Foam-mattress maven Michael Fux, right, has been making the rounds in downtown Red Bank in recent days.
A car collector with tastes so lavish that Rolls Royce named a paint for him, Fux (pronounced ‘fyooks’) has been visiting merchants to drum up support for a charity event he’s bankrolling this Saturday afternoon: an exotic car show and entertainment extravaganza that will close a portion of Broad Street for five hours. [UPDATE: Event rescheduled for Saturday, September 10, because of Tropical Storm Irene]
But he’s also been trying to quash what he says is a mistaken impression: that the event is a grand opening event for two-month-old Blue Water Seafood Company, in which he’s an investor, and outside which some of his favorite toys are often lined up on Friday and Saturday nights.
The notion was bolstered by an item on the Red Bank Council’s July 27 agenda, which said the street shutdown request was from Blue Water “to celebrate their grand opening.”
“I don’t think we need a grand opening,” he tells redbankgreen. “We’re filling the place just fine.”
No, the idea behind the nameless event is to drum up money for two kidcentric organizations: Operation Smile, which provides surgeries all over the world to correct cleft lips and other facial deformities; and the Children’s Cancer Caring Center, which offers chemo treatment and more to children of families without health insurance. Fux contributes to each through a philanthropic foundation in his name.
Fux said he was asking store owners to run special promotions through which they might help him raise funds for the charities. But “I’m picking up the tab” on the cost of the event itself, says Fux, who grew up “very, very poor” in the Weequahic section of the Newark but hit the jackpot when he turned something called Memory Foam into a runaway consumer bedding product.
“I’m a regular guy who got lucky, that’s all,” he says. “I’m a merchant, a marketer.”
Getting lucky has enabled the the Atlantic Highlands resident to indulge in a passion for high-end autos, of which he owns dozens, including a brand new “drophead” Rolls-Royce” in rich purple. He’s also got one in taxicab yellow, and another in candy-apple red that that the car manufacture named in his honor.
A number of Fux vehicles, including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston-Martins and more, will be showcased. The event will also feature appearances by some big names in the sports, music and television worlds, live auctions, food and music by Son Go Son, Fux said.
The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, August 27 on upper Broad Street, which will be closed to traffic from West Front Street to Monmouth Street.