Left to right: presenting the flag in preparation for the annual Salt Creek Grille wine and martini tasting benefit are Lynn Lucarelli, 180 Director of Development; Robert Fouratt, 180 Board President & Managing Partner of The Curchin Group; Cindi Westendorf, Program Cooridinator of 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program; Anna Diaz-White, 180 Executive Director; Robin Fitzmaurice, VP Two River Community Bank (Presenting Sponsor); Rob Habel, Beverage Manager; Steve Bidgood, Co-Owner, Salt Creek Grille and Mark Shopene, General Manager. (photos by McKay Imaging)

Press release from Salt Creek Grille

In the state of New Jersey, an act of domestic violence happens every 7.29 minutes and, alarmingly, in 31 percent of all domestic violence offenses children are involved or present.

Based in Monmouth County, 180 Turning Lives Around is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in our community. It has served individuals and families who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence since 1976 — and on Thursday, April 6, the organization will be the beneficiary of an annual fundraising event at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille.

Since 2004, Salt Creek Grille’s Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser has raised approximately $900,000 for a variety of charitable and nonprofit organizations in the local area, with the restaurant designating a different beneficiary each year. With this year’s 14th annual event, co-owner and local philanthropist Steve Bidgood’s goal is to reach the $1 million mark of funds raised for local charities.

Anna Diaz-White and Cindi Westendorf of 180 Turning Lives Around join Salt Creek Grille co-owner Steve Bidgood in introducing 180’s mission to servers.

“Salt Creek has supported dozens of charities with missions supporting children’s needs,” explained Bidgood. “While 180’s main mission is to help adult victims of domestic violence, they also offer support and shelter to children who are often adversely affected by domestic violence.

“We commend the work 180 is doing to help victims and their children cope with the trauma that domestic violence causes and we are happy to do our part to support the organization’s work,” Bidgood added. The 180 staff provides immediate and long-term support in assisting clients with the trauma they have experienced, while supporting them in obtaining services and making decisions that will turn their lives around.

To further public awareness about the charity’s mission, Salt Creek Grille raises a flag with the charity’s logo at the waterfront restaurant’s site year round. A presentation of the flag was made to members of the 180 Board and volunteers in January. 180’s director Anna Diaz-White appeared before Salt Creek Grille’s staff on that day to inform them about the history of 180 and its mission.

Running from 7 to 10 p.m., the Wine and Martini Tasting is supported by donations from Salt Creek Grille and its vendors and local businesses that provide food, wine and other services. As in past years, several wine vendors will pour over one hundred premium wines to taste and a spirits representative will concoct specialty martinis for guests to sample. Guests are always impressed with the lavish amounts of delicious offerings including hors d’oeuvres, pasta, carving stations, desserts and more by Salt Creek Grille. In addition, local food businesses are represented including an artisanal cheese table donated by Sickles Market, Little Silver, and a raw bar provided by Lusty Lobster, Highlands. The Bobby Boyd Trio entertains the event’s attendees with live jazz music, and a live auction is held featuring a local DJ entertainer and NJ 101.5’s Big Joe Henry as auctioneer.

Tickets to the April 6 event are $150 per person, and space is limited. Sponsorships are available, with Two River Community Bank as the premiere, exclusive Presenting Sponsor. “Community Leader Sponsors” include Mariners Wealth Advisors and Stillwell-Hansen, Inc. To reserve tickets or to inquire about sponsorships call (732)264-4360 x4230, or e mail You can also purchase tickets online here.