Helping Our Active Duty Military Enjoy A Night Out & More
A few months back I told you about Dine On Us, a relatively new 501c3 organization whose mission is to provide off base dining and entertainment opportunities for our active duty military families who are dealing with economic hardships. The goal is to give those that serve us a chance to enjoy a night out at a local restaurant, boardwalk fun, a gas card and even groceries. Most do not have the means to enjoy a date night or night out with their family which was simply unacceptable to Navy veteran and founder Cliff Baker.
Initial fundraising efforts in the spring raised $60,000 in gift cards and 100 care packages valued at $300 each were delivered to Navy and Marines from Naval Weapon Station Earle and Red Bank. Another 100 of these packages will be brought to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst later this month. These packages included a $100 gift card to Chef Mike’s ABG, a $50 gift card to Bum Roger’s, Caffrey’s or Burger 25, a $50 Casino Pier Gift Card for rides and more, a $50 Wawa gas card, an umbrella and beach chair for Funtown Pier and Kohr’s ice cream for the entire family. Each participating business donated a gift card of the same value for each one purchased.
What most of us likely don’t know is these active duty military families are living on poverty-level income and depend on government assistance programs. In addition many are from out of state and unfamiliar with the area which makes this financial plight even more challenging.
There are many more families in need so Dine On Us has started a new round of fundraising to they can donate more gift card care packages for Christmas. They are looking to provide $300 packages for 370 families through two events coming up. On September 8th they will hold an inaugural Celebrity Golf Invitational at Blue Heron Pines featuring a host of former NFL stars and on October 2nd it’s Cliff and Chef Mike’s 4th Annual Chef Tasting hosted by Martell’s Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant Beach.
For more on these events and how you can help visit www.dineonus.org.