Somers Point restaurant rivals rally for relief

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Christine Harshaw of Wildwood, left, and Rebecca Marraso of Linwood, both members of the South Jersey Powder Puff Football League sell commemorative Restaurants 4 Relief for the benefit of the Red Cross and the Food Bank at Charlie’s Bar Saturday, Nov. 24. Christine Harshaw of Wildwood, left, and Rebecca Marraso of Linwood, both members of the South Jersey Powder Puff Football League sell commemorative Restaurants 4 Relief for the benefit of the Red Cross and the Food Bank at Charlie’s Bar Saturday, Nov. 24.

SOMERS POINT – Charlie’s and Gregory’s might be competing neighborhood bars just a block apart on Shore Road, but they worked together recently for the good of the community.

The two establishments pooled their patrons, suppliers and their resources to organize Restaurants 4 Relief, a family-friendly get-together Sunday, Nov. 24 to benefit local victims of Hurricane Sandy via two charities.

The combined effort raised more than $8,000, which will be split between the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch and the Southern Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross.

“Some of our neighbors and our patrons got hit pretty hard from the storm. We wanted to help them out, so we decided to come together and do whatever we could to help our friends when they needed it,” said Jeff Thomas, manager of Charlie’s.

For a $20 donation, patrons could go to Charlie’s Bar and Restaurant for wings or Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar for tacos. They also received one drink of their choice. There was a DJ at both locations, a bounce house for kids, temporary tattoos, and a Chinese auction featuring a variety of items from local merchants.

Nonperishable food donations were collected, and the South Jersey Powder Puff Football League sold commemorative T-shirts to add to the fundraising effort.

The take was also boosted by donations. One benefactor contributed $500, and the Somers Point Policemen’s Benevolent Association also put in $500.

While both eateries host numerous fundraisers for local organizations, Restaurants 4 Relief marked only the second time they joined forces. The first was to raise money for the Kevin Botta family after he was killed in a car accident.

“We have a lot of the same customers, and they are all right from the surrounding communities,” said Thomas. “Our customers here and down the road at Gregory’s are like family. When they have a problem and there is something we can do to help, then we both want to be able to step up and help them out.”


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