Salt Creek Grille Owner's Daughter Raises Funds for Sandy-Afflicted Server
Shauna Bidgood, daughter of Rumson Salt Creek Grille East Coast Regional Partner Steve Bidgood and a junior at Towson University, Maryland, has worked through her college to help out a server at Salt Creek who lost his home and belongings to Hurricane Sandy.
Shauna presented $1,000 in funds raised by her sorority, Tri Delta, and co-sponsored with fraternity Theta Chi to Tom Acquisto, whose one-story home in Union Beach, which he shared with his mother and paralyzed father, was completely destroyed by five feet of floodwaters from the superstorm.
“We collected all kinds of donations for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, such as baby clothes, hygiene products, food, cleaning supplies and money,” explained Shauna, who is the philanthropy chair for Tri Delta. “We agreed we wanted the money to go directly to someone in need. My dad told me about Tom and we were all stunned by his loss. He’s like family to me, so we all agreed that the funds raised should go to Tom."
The popular waterfront Salt Creek Grille — which has never been flooded in its 14-year history — also took in over four feet of floodwaters from the Navesink River caused by Hurricane Sandy and was closed for repairs for 11 days.
Bidgood said key to his being able to get the restaurant operating so quickly was the tireless efforts of his 100-member staff and his strong, long-term relationships with local contractors, such as Joe Hemphill, a building contractor, and Max Matern, an HVAC contractor.
The Long Branch home of Salt Creek Grille’s Princeton managing partner, Hugh Preece, also sustained damage from flooding.
“The restaurant business is a special one,” Steve Bidgood explained. “It provides so much nourishment at many levels to the community and to its employees. We are like a family here and Shauna who works here during her time off from school understands that we have to help each other through good times and bad. I am very proud that she is continuing Salt Creek Grille’s role as a supporter of the community it serves.”
Many Two River area small businesses, like Salt Creek Grille, had a single mission that compelled them to work exhaustive long hours without power, to get back in operation so their employees could be back at work to earn an income to support their families and to help their communities maintain some sense of normalcy, he added.
Thanks to the effort of many Salt Creek Grille reopened just 11 days after Sandy, Bidgood stressed.
The restaurant is now accepting reservations for Christmas parties, Christmas and New Year’s eves, too, just as it has since it opened in 1998.
All five Salt Creek Grille locations — in El Segundo, Dana Point and Valencia, California; and Princeton and Rumson in New Jersey — have implemented a fundraising effort until Nov. 30
to help raise funds for the American Red Cross. Guests who dine at any of the five locations and text a contribution of $10 to $50 to the American Red Cross will receive the equal value in Salt Creek Grille reward cards.