Continuing a recently established tradition, New Jersey Monthly magazine honored the Garden State’s most generous companies with its second annual Great Oak Awards. Among the 64 New Jersey companies named as 2015 finalists is Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille, which was recognized for its annual fundraising program for charities meeting children’s needs.
For the past 12 years, the popular waterfront restaurant’s co-owner Steve Bidgood (pictured) has selected a different charity as Salt Creek Grille’s charity of the year. In January a flag bearing the charity’s logo is flown from the flagpole at the base of the Oceanic Bridge all year long for public awareness. In April the annual Salt Creek Grille Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser is held to raise money for its charity, with 100 percent of all funds raised going directly to the designated charity. Twelve charities have benefitted, and over $825,000 has been raised to date.
This past April’s Wine and Martini Tasting — the top grossing event to date — raised nearly $115,000 toward pediatric brain cancer research for The Kortney Rose Foundation, helping the Monmouth County based nonprofit hit its million-dollar mark in cumulative donations to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
In 2014, KRF founder Kristen Gillette was presented with New Jersey Monthly’s “Seeds of Hope” award, which honors the state’s most dedicated volunteers. In addition, co-owner Steve Bidgood serves on the boards of CYMCA, Count Basie Theatre, Two River Community Bank, and is auctioneer at several annual fundraising events.
New Jersey Monthly will showcase this year’s Great Oak Awards finalists in the August issue. The winning companies will be determined in a multistep process culminating in a judging session by a panel of philanthropy experts. Finalists will be saluted — and top honorees announced — at a dinner on September 29, 2015, at The Palace at Somerset Park. Ticket and table information is available at (973)539-8230.