HOPEWELL BOROUGH: Restaurant group launches fundraising campaign

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Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
Seeking to show that it cares, the Hopewell Borough Restaurant Association has launched a month-long fundraising campaign to benefit a nonprofit organization that helps people kick their addictions.
Small plastic containers will be placed in the 13 food establishments that belong to the association – from delis to restaurants – to catch some spare change from customers during December.
At the end of the month, the plastic containers will be emptied and the donations tallied up. The money will be given to Recovery Advocates of America, said Jeff Kyle of Antimo’s Italian Kitchen at 52 E. Broad Street.
“We all know someone (who has substance abuse issues) and that’s why we wanted to do this,” Kyle said of the restaurant association’s fundraising effort.
Recovery Advocates of America is working with the Hopewell Township Police Department – through its C.A.R.E. (Community Addiction Recovery Effort) program – to help persons with substance abuse issues kick their bad habits.
The Hopewell Township Police Department is one of several Mercer County police departments that have initiated a partnership with Recovery Advocates of America, seeking to reduce the stigma of addiction and to provide a safe haven for addicts as they try to overcome their addictions.
Police officers who arrest someone for possession of a controlled dangerous substance – drugs – or for being under the influence will arrange for a representative from Recovery Advocates of America to meet with that person in a safe and private setting to talk about the steps needed to start the recovery process.
The C.A.R.E. program and Recovery Advocates of America also are available to anyone who walks into the Police Department headquarters or who contacts a police officer and asks for help, before the situation spirals out of control and results in an arrest.
Kyle, of Antimo’s Italian Kitchen, said he read an article about the C.A.R.E. program and Recovery Advocates of America.
“It stuck with me,” Kyle said.
So when a friend needed help with an addiction issue, Kyle accompanied him to the Police Department and asked for help. Kyle said he was impressed by the assistance and caring offered to his friend through C.A.R.E. and Recovery Advocates of America.
Kyle said he wanted to help Recovery Advocates of America, which raises money for its operations. That’s when it occurred to him that a fundraising effort during December – traditionally a busy time for food establishments – to benefit the nonprofit group would be a good idea.
“With the (seasonal) boost in business in December, we’ll get the most chance to spread the word,” Kyle said. “Even if we are just getting the program out there and people are becoming aware of it, it will be a success.”
The participating food establishments include Antimo’s Italian Kitchen, Blue Bottle Cafe, the Brick Farm Tavern, the Brick Farm Market, China Wok and the Peasant Grill.
Also, Tomatillos, Thana Thai Cuisine, Hopewell Valley Bistro and Inn, Nomad Pizza, Boro Bean, The Brothers Moon and Franco’s Pizzaria are participating in the campaign.