The opening night of Coastal Grill & Raw Bar directly benefitted The Boys and Girls Club of Volusia County.
At its pre-opening charity night on Dec. 8, the new Coastal Grill and Raw Bar raised $9,648 for the Boys and Girls Club of Volusia County thanks to its 377 attendees.
"It's a tradition for us for the last 20 years," said Steve Papero, Stonewood Holdings president, co-founder and CEO. "Every time we open on a new restaurant, we host a charity night to benefit the surrounding community."
Coastal Grill is a new restaurant concept from the company, who also owns Peach Valley Café and Stonewood Grill and Tavern. Trish McGetrick, marketing director of the restaurant, said they wanted to try something new tailored specifically to the Port Orange Community. The restaurant will locally source as much as possible, including serving beers and spirits from Copper Bottom Distillery in Holly Hill.
Benefitting the Boys and Girls Club is just another way to circle back for Stonewood Holdings. Papero said they benefitted them when first opening Stonewood Grill 20 years ago.
Tangela Brown, unit director of John H. Dickerson Boys and Girls Club said she is grateful to the Port Orange Community.
"This event is directly benefiting our organization by providing support for our healthy habit groups, after school programs, snacks and recreation time for the kids," she said.
Robin Markus, Development Director for Boys and Girls Clubs of Volusia County, elaborated on the importance of supporting the club, saying that the restaurant's participation was "huge."
"The proceeds from this event will allow us to keep our program alive," Markus said. "It provides a lot of hope and opportunity for them, that they otherwise wouldn't have."
Papero said he sees many wonderful aspects of giving to the community, and it's why he has instilled it as a tradition in Stonewood Holdings.
"[The charity event] works two fold, to give to the community, but also culturally for our new employees to understand how we're wired," Papero said. "The shirt that all our staff are wearing tonight has a clock with no hands on it, having no hands means that there is always time to give."
John Stewart, a server at the Coastal Grill, grew up having the Boys and Girls club as a good influence in his life, and thought it was "really cool" when he found out the restaurant was doing a charity night for them.
The Boys and Girls Club set Stewart up for success, and has allowed him to be where he is today, he said. He was in second grade when he got involved. He eventually became a counselor with the club.
"That was my first ever job," Stewart said. "They [helped] me to do my homework, and to do better in school, which allowed me to become more involved in the club."
Stewart pledged to give back to the community after the night's event. Any tips he made, he vowed to donate them to charity.
"Another restaurant could have offered the exact same thing, but because this event supports the Boys and Girls Club, I don't mind participating," said Port Orange resident Coleen DeCarla, who was sitting out in the patio with her family and friends. "Anything that helps children succeed is a wonderful thing for the community."