Chances are many of you did something special for dinner last night since it was Valentine’s Day so you really had no plans to go out to a restaurant today.  I would normally feel like you but tonight I’ll be enjoying dinner at The Office Restaurant and Lounge to celebrate Phil’s 73rd birthday.

I’m sure many if not most of you have no idea what I’m talking about but for a bunch of us we would never miss this birthday bash even though Phil Citta died from pancreatic cancer 13 years ago.

The Office was Phil’s place and since his passing management and staff at the popular Toms River restaurant have kept his memory very much alive while at the same time helping others in the fight against cancer.  The 12th annual Phil Citta Memorial Fundraiser runs all day and night and is a major fundraiser for the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at Community Medical Center, which is part of RWJ Barnabas Health.

Shortly after the colorful and fun-loving Phil passed away the Citta family made a $1 million dollar donation to establish the cancer center in his name.  That facility offers a comprehensive approach to cancer care with a full range of treatment options and support services aimed at allowing local patients and their families to get the very best care right in their own backyard.

There have been numerous fundraisers to help allow the facility to expand services and among them is the annual birthday bash with the first 11 such events raising more than $240,000.  The Office Lounge donates 50% of today’s gross profits so if you eat or drink you’re helping the cause.  There will also be day-long prize auctions and raffles with all the money from that going to the cause and Craig Daniel provides live entertainment beginning at 9:30pm.

So even if you were out for Valentine’s Day stop by The Office Restaurant & Lounge today and toast Phil’s birthday. You’ll be doing it for a great cause.