Left to right: “Guest shucker” Lance “Chick” Cunningham joined Lusty Lobster owner Doug Douty and Kevin Guerin at the raw bar for the recent Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser at Salt Creek Grille. The April 6 event raised over $90,000 for the locally based nonprofit 180 Turning Lives Around. (photo by Karen J. Irvine)

Press release from Salt Creek Grille

On April 6, the 14th Annual Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser event at  raised over $90,000 in funds for 180 Turning Lives Around, 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 what was then the Rumson restaurant’s fifth anniversary.

Past charities that benefitted from the event include Michael’s Feat (2016), The Kortney Rose Foundation (2015), Hope For Children Foundation (2014), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex (2013), Count Basie Performing Arts Academy (2012), The Community YMCA (2011), K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital/ Meridian (2010), Parker Family Health Center (2009), Kidz Kare at Monmouth Medical Center (2008), SPUR (2007), COSAC (2006), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (2005), and the inaugural recipient of the annual fundraiser, the Tuberous Sclerosis foundation.

The event is made possible through donations made by Salt Creek Grille and its vendors, and by 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 of Little Silver provided a cheese table and Lusty Lobster of Highlands a raw bar. Live music was provided by The Bobby Boyd Trio, and the live auction was overseen by NJ 101.5’s Big Joe Henry.

“One restaurant, one million dollars in donated funds to our local charities!” said Steve Bidgood, co-owner of 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!

“This event will support 180’s children’s art therapy program, Amanda’s Easel,” Bidgood added. “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.

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. The caring 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. They also offer support and shelter to children who are often adversely affected by domestic violence. To inquire about making donations to 180, call (732)264-4360 ext. 4230, or email