A celebrity waiter fundraiser last week was a big success and will support the purchase of a drunk driving simulator for use by the Gloucester High School driver education program.
Organizer Kimberly Taylor of the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office said the turnout was wonderful, resulting in $13,000 in tips and donations.
The fundraiser, hosted by Lisa Britto and her Rosemary and Wine restaurant at Ordinary, included two dinner seatings on the evenings of July 26, 27 and 28. The amount was short of the $15,000 the simulator, called Sidne, will cost, but Taylor expects some corporate and business donations to make up the difference.
"We’ll definitely have the car for the start of the school year," said Taylor, who has been working with Britto to bring the simulator to Gloucester. "Lisa never stopped talking about it. I had the idea, but she ran with it. She was amazing," Taylor said.
The Sidne, which resembles a go-cart, can simulate distracted driving as well as impaired driving. Taylor was introduced to the cart at a D.A.R.E. conference. She said the high number of local alcohol-related traffic deaths in recent years, particularly among young people, motivated her drive to obtain the simulator.
"Apparently, the community really saw the need for it," Taylor said of the Sidne fundraiser attendance.
The Rosemary and Wine events brought in $7,000 in tips and donations last Tuesday night alone. "It was packed for the 7:30 seatings Tuesday and Wednesday," Taylor said, with tables having to be set up in the restaurant’s adjoining wine shop. "It was wonderful. The community really turned out."
The simulator will be used at the school and at public safety and other local events.