Gone But Never Forgotten
It’s hard to believe that Phil Citta has been gone for nearly 18 years but my memories of him are as clear as ever. Every time I walk into The Office Restaurant and Lounge in Toms River I expect to find Phil behind the host station wearing a Tommy Bahama shirt with reading glasses dangling around his neck. Unfortunately even he could not beat pancreatic cancer but despite his absence and changes over the years I will always think of The Office as “Phil’s Place” and I’m certainly not alone.
You know you have left an indelible legacy when after you die your birthday is still celebrated and that’s what will happen today. Phil would have turned 78 tomorrow and like they’ve done every year since 2006 family and friends will honor a life well lived with a birthday celebration that comes with a noble purpose. In what has become a winter tradition today The Office will host its 17th Annual Phil Citta Memorial Fundraiser which benefits the cancer center at Community Medical Center that was established in his memory shortly after his death with a $1 million donation from his family.
Today’s fundraiser is a bit different from others in the past but the goal remains the same…to keep Phil’s memory alive while raising money in the ongoing fight against cancer in our community. The Office will donate 50% of all net sales from the day to the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center. So whether you stop in for lunch, dinner, sushi or a cocktail or place an order to go (even through DoorDash) you are helping a great cause…one that has raised more than $300,000 over the years.
Happy Birthday Phil…we really do miss you!