One Terrace Tavern Reaches Out to Another, Helps Victims of Christchurch Mosque Shooting

Mar 27, 2019
Courtesy of: Terrace Tavern The four-course wine tasting dinner was attended by 45 guests, who generously opened their hearts and wallets to donate to Red Cross New Zealand.

The Terrace Tavern in Beach Haven Terrace spontaneously raised over $1,000 last week for New Zealand Red Cross, having befriended online another restaurant also named the Terrace Tavern in Christchurch, where a gunman killed 50 and wounded 50 more in a hate-fueled terror attack on two mosques on March 17.

The two restaurants became aware of each other on Facebook when New Zealanders mistakenly tagged the LBI restaurant in their posts. That’s how co-owner Toby Sweeney learned about the “very cool community” of Christchurch.

“When the deadly mosque attack occurred, the Terrace Tavern family on this side of the world knew we had to do something,” Sweeney said.

So the third session in the tavern’s annual winter wine tasting dinner series – which was already scheduled (and sold out) for Thursday, March 21 ­– became a fundraiser, amounting to $1,020 for the New Zealand Red Cross.

The series is in its second year. The events are normally held inside the Delaware Avenue Oyster House, which Sweeney and her husband, Mike, also own, next door to the tavern, but this month’s four-course wine and food pairing was moved to the tavern to allow guests a first taste of the Terrace Tavern’s new wood-fired pizza. The Delaware Avenue Oyster House is open daily year ’round; the Terrace Tavern reopens May 3.

Before the fourth course, Sweeney told the 45 ticket-holding guests about the community of Christchurch, which bears similarities to Long Beach Island, even down to the names of its restaurants, and asked them to donate what they could. In all of 25 minutes, “a gift basket was raffled, and a very special moment had occurred,” Sweeney said. With pride and joy, she tweeted to the other Terrace Tavern and NZ Red Cross and posted on Instagram to let them know “our community has their back, and the check is on the way.”

Sweeney quoted Fred Rogers: “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.” Such was demonstrated by the generous wine lovers. They had initially signed on for pleasure, not charity; but, when asked to donate, they happily put their hearts and wallets on the table.  —V.F.

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