The Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross will honor local philanthropic business leaders Steve and Lynn Bidgood, and Carolynn Ozar-Diakon at its 30th Annual Gala – “Red, White & Bling” – at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the Spring Lake Golf & Country Club.
The honorary gala chair of the event is the popular host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and local resident Jon Stewart. Honorees Steve and Lynn Bidgood will receive the 2013 Clara Barton Humanitarian Award and Carolynn Ozar-Diakon will receive the 2013 Clara Barton Corporate Award.
Lynn and Steve Bidgood, Managing Partner,
Salt Creek Grille Restaurants
Lynn and Steve “Biddy” Bidgood of Eatontown are Two River natives who have dedicated much of their personal and professional lives to local community service. Through their tireless and unselfish efforts, the Bidgoods have raised millions for local organizations – including many that benefit children – and helped improve the quality of life for many of their fellow citizens. Childhood sweethearts, the couple share a skill for hospitality that has helped in the development of successful restaurants that are well-known for their warmth, quality and welcoming environment. The Bidgoods also have used their restaurants to provide a deeper form of sustenance, in the form of fundraising for local charities. For the past 10 years in celebration of the restaurant’s anniversary, Biddy has held a fundraising event at Salt Creek Grille for a selected charity that serves children’s needs and 100 percent of the funds raised goes directly to the charity. To date nearly $600,000 has been raised for nine different local charities. This year’s Salt Creek Grille Wine and Martini Tasting on April 18 will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties. And while the Bidgoods seek no recognition for their efforts, they gladly accept credit for raising two wonderful daughters – Meghan and Shauna – who, like their parents, are active volunteers in the community.
Carolynn Ozar-Diakon, Senior Partner
Resources Real Estate
Born and educated in England, Ozar-Diakon came to the United States in 1981. After a successful career as a public speaker, she entered the real estate business in 1986. This move came about when Ozar-Diakon became a mother and sought a career that required less travel and allowed more time with her family. With a strong foundation in communications, sharp business acumen, excellent negotiating skills and honest approach, she quickly became one of the top realtors in the area sought after by both buyers and sellers.
In 2000 Ozar-Diakon founded Resources Real Estate, a respected and successful boutique real estate practice with offices in Monmouth Beach, Rumson and Red Bank.
Throughout her professional career, philanthropy and volunteerism have always been seamlessly interwoven. Today, in addition to owning and operating a successful business, Ozar-Diakon sits on three boards and many charity committees. She leads by example and is not afraid to pull up her sleeves to help those in need. She and her agents were personally involved after Super Storm Sandy and volunteered their services to help locate housing for displaced people. After Hurricane Katrina, Ozar-Diakon collected toiletries in her office and drove it to New Orleans with her husband and two of their children.
Ozar-Diakon resides on a horse farm in Locust with her husband, Bob. They are the proud parents of three children: Brett, 33, is married with a 2-year-old son and lives in Pennsylvania; Chris, 27, is a successful realtor living and working in Hoboken; and Gabrielle is a senior in high school and is off to college in the fall. All three children continue to be supportive of and involved in Ozar-Diakon’s philanthropic efforts.
Sponsorships are still available and a few tickets remain at $250 per person for the 30th Annual Gala – “Red, White & Bling” on April 6. For more information, call Kim Price at 732-493-9100 ext. 1227.