Charity

Small Town Business Owners – Big Time Heroes

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Charity Fundraising Before It Was Cool

So there’s this quaint little Irish pub in Madison New Jersey, that has been giving back since giving back wasn’t even a thing from small business owners. What’s the best part you ask? They just do it!

Shout-Out to the Mom and Pop Shops

For the last 25 years, Dennis and Judy Mullins (OK you guessed it, mom and dad), have been quietly
giving back to their community since 1993, when giving back in a public sense, through your small
business, wasn’t being done.

It all started with an executive from CBS Records, we now know as Sony, Tony Martell. From the day the Mullins Family took over the small town pub, Tony and his wife, Vicky, were customers on a weekly
basis.

Tony lost his son TJ to Leukemia in 1975 and before his passing, TJ asked his dad to raise money for this dreaded disease. At the time not enough research was being done to make advancements in any way
and doctors needed money for research and development. Before he passed, Tony promised his son and
his doctor that he would raise 1 million dollars for cancer research and Leukemia.

Fast forward to 1994… that year the TJ Martell foundation held its first Walk-A- Thon in Madison, NJ and Poor Herbie’s held the after party where donations were tallied and announcements made. It was after this event that Poor Herbie’s started on the road of Giving Back through the business.

Good Old Fashioned Family Values

I was raised on good old fashioned family values, drilled in old school kind of way and that included
giving back to those in need. The Mullins family carried this practice into their restaurant by starting charity nights, where 10% of the sales for the night went back to the charity featured that evening.

A hometown favorite and founder of “Team Snyder” appropriately named after himself, Robert Snyder
uses his Tuesday night bar shift to raise money for the annual Push To Walk Fundraiser, a foundation
that provides a Physical Therapy Gym for people with spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and other
neurological conditions.

Mr. Snyder, pictured above on far right, and his team have raised $10,894 for Push To Walk after setting out with a goal of $5,000 just 5 years ago, and the efforts made by this family “joint”, (for you twenty-somethings a “joint” is a cool place to go for food and spirits) have raised over $175,000 dollars for local charities. Another prime example of a hometown couple turned restaurateur doing their part for humanity by a giving back. Another addition to the #TheSilentGiver hashtag hall of heroes.

Shave Your Head For Childhood Cancer Research

The Annual head shaving event for the St Baldrick’s Foundation is a huge event at Poor Herbie’s bringing droves of supporters making it an epic night since day one. In 2013 a local boy, Eric Selquist went to his parents and said he wanted to be bald. His parents thought this over and decided to turn it into a charity drive through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, approaching the owners of the local pub and DownTown Salon for sponsorship of barber chairs and a venue.

Dennis Jr., who runs the day to day operations, jumped on the idea promoting the event heavily, and of course dragged in support from dozens of long time customers who pledged money for him to shave his head or decided to go bald for charity as well. The St Baldrick’s event has turned into the biggest fundraising initiative for Poor Herbie’s and its staff annually, raising over $300,000, for childhood cancer research, since its first event in 2013. Dennis Jr. and long time friend and part owner at DownTown.

The 5th annual shaving of the heads is to take place on March 17th, 2017. To date Team Sealquist has
raised $72,029 for the 2017 event and has helped to raise awareness in Morris County NJ, to increase
support for childhood cancer research, which effects over 10,000 children annually .

Since its inception in 2000 St. Baldrick’s has raised $154 Million dollars providing research grants for doctors and scientists enabling new cure research and clinical trials for childhood cancer. St. Baldrick’s has hosted over 5,000 head shaving events resulting in more than 244,000 bald heads walking about, in 30 countries and 50 US States.

About William F. Mullins

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