Eat out. Do good. That is the mission of Sylvia Lasalandra-Frodella, the owner of H2Ocean Restaurant & Bar in Cedar Knolls. Lasalandra-Frodella has made it her mission to give back in everything she does. The restaurant honors a charity every month; Since 2014, she has donated more than $15,000 in gift cards to charities.
From each private label wine that H2Ocean created, one dollar was donated toward children’s heath, mental illness, LGBTQ charities, and suicide prevention.
She also helped to create “Taking Care of Your Ta-Tas” to raise money for breast cancer awareness; and paid for ten cleft-palate operations for a Franklin Lakes boy through her “Operation Smile” efforts.
And her work doesn’t stop in Cedar Knolls. Lasalandra-Frodella is taking her work on the road with the creation of the Shuck It Truck – a mobile food truck delivering her message of fresh seafood and charity.
The truck’s maiden voyage was Saturday, February 18 at the Music Beyond Measure (MBM) Paint & Sip Fundraiser in Cranford.
“It was an absolute honor to be a part of Music Beyond Measure’s (MBM) Paint & Sip Fundraiser in Cranford on Saturday, February 18th,” said Lasalandra-Frodella. “The mission of our Shuck It Truck is to introduce and share the ‘H2Ocean Experience’ of quality market-fresh, wild-caught seafood and farm-fresh cuisine all in the name of charity. And having its journey begin with MBM was a wonderful way to kick off its theme of giving. We’re excited for this ‘little truck with a big heart’ to make its way all over the state in 2017.”
Sylvia learned about Music Beyond Measure from Tamara C. Williams, the founder and director of the program. “’I’ve known Sylvia for over a year because I give her daughter voice lessons,” Williams explained. “Once I told her about my organization, Music Beyond Measure, and our mission to create arts recovery programs for survivors of domestic violence & sexual assault, she jumped right in and offered to sponsor the event. The restaurant provided food and wine for the event and sponsored 10 tickets for those who wanted to come, but couldn’t afford to.”
People came from Newark, West Orange, Scotch Plains, Union, and other cities within NJ to support the cause and have some fun. “The purpose of the event was to raise money to bring our flagship program, the “Sing Your Story” Project, to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in the NY metro area. This project partners professional musicians with survivors to compose the lyrics and music to their own original songs.” Williams explains that the project will culminate in a concert where survivors then sing their stories as a means of healing themselves and helping others who may have experienced those issues.
“Music Beyond Measure is so thankful to H2Ocean Restaurant and Raw Bar, especially to Sylvia and her family, as well as all of the staff who took the time to help our event become what it was…phenomenal!”
We can’t wait to see where the Shuck It Truck rolls up next.
- Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © Fabiana Santana