The recent Wine and Martini Tasting fundraiser at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille raised nearly $115,000 for pediatric brain cancer research, on behalf of this year’s designated beneficiary, The Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF). Generous support at the sold-out event helped the Oceanport-based foundation hit the million-dollar mark in cumulative donations to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
To date, over $845,000 has been raised by Salt Creek Grille’s Wine and Martini Tastings, an annual event for which a different locally based charity is specified each year. One hundred percent of the proceeds have gone directly to the organizations, thanks to donations of goods and services made by Salt Creek Grille and its purveyors (including Sickles Market, Lusty Lobster and The Bobby Boyd Trio).
A highlight of the April 16 event was Kristen Gillette’s induction into CHOP’s Chairman’s Circle. During formal remarks, the KRF founder was presented with an honorary “brick” for the hospital’s wall of million dollar donors. More than 95 percent of every dollar donated to the foundation goes directly to the life-saving research at CHOP and its world-class Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium. Brain tumors, such as the one that caused the death of Kristen Gillette’s daughter Kortney Rose in 2006, are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children under 20. Since the KRF was established in Kortney’s name, the foundation was also instrumental in passing legislation naming May as brain tumor awareness month in the State of New Jersey.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by both the generosity and professionalism of everyone involved in this fine event, which was pivotal to our organization,” said Gillette. “We thank Steve Bidgood for this opportunity and for his commitment to helping children’s charities. Children are very underrepresented in the cancer research universe, so they have to rely on private foundations and generous individuals to fund research that could save their lives.”
“It was a great night for a great cause,” said Bidgood, co-owner of Salt Creek Grille. “We are so thankful to all of our vendors who have donated to our event each year; and through this annual event we recognize the important roles that our local charities play within our community. It was wonderful to see how supportive everyone was and that the Kortney Rose Foundation reached its $1 million mark!” he added.