The restaurant with locations in Westfield, Millburn, Morristown and Somerville will donate all sale proceeds Thursday evening to the Valerie Fund.

What’s better than fresh salads, innovative sandwiches and gourmet treats? Knowing that the proceeds from your meal are going to help provide comprehensive care to children with cancer and blood disorders.

On Thursday, May 30, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., all of The Salad House restaurants (Westfield, Millburn, Morristown and Somerville) plan to donate 100% of sales proceeds from dine in, pick up and to-go orders to the Valerie Fund, the hospital-based cancer care center that helped one of their young employees fight cancer.

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 Meet Olivia

Nineteen-year-old Olivia Morrison graduated from Westfield High School last year and would have attended her freshman year at the University of Maryland this year, had it not been for Ewing’s sarcoma. Instead, she is taking the year off and working at the Salad House of Westfield.

“She never misses a day, except for testing,” said Chaz Eicke, who owns the Westfield restaurant with his brother, Jerry Eicke. Though Morrison doesn’t talk much about what she’s been going through, “You just kind of know what’s going on,” he said. 

Then he saw an article in TAPinto Westfield about Morrison’s plan to run a 5K in Verona on June 8 to support the Valerie Fund. (You can read the article here.)

 “I thought, we’ve got to do something,” Chaz Eicke said. 

 “We wanted it to be impactful,” Jerry Eicke said. 

Morrison said she was absolutely blown away when they came to her with the idea to use the restaurant for a fundraiser.

“I could not believe it. A few days later a meeting took place with the other three stores’ owners and they decided to do the event at all four locations,” she said. 

“Olivia’s such a good kid,” said Jerry Eicke. “She really loved the charity and we did some research on it … We knew it was going into the right hands.” 

The Valerie Fund 

The Valerie Fund is a nonprofit that provides comprehensive care to children with cancer and blood disorders. 

“Cancer is still very much a huge part of my life and always will be, unfortunately, as I’m already experiencing the chronic effects that result from countless harsh chemotherapy infusions,” Morrison said.  

Though she is in remission, Morrison said the fact is that she can relapse at any moment. 

“I don’t want any pity, but it is important to me that I don’t paint a rosy picture of how cancer has affected my life and how it affects the lives of so many kids across the globe,” she said. “It is so important to me that I do my best to rally support for the Valerie Fund and spread awareness for childhood cancer alike. Because even if I end up being OK, another kid is going to be diagnosed — in fact, a lot will be. 

“The Valerie Fund makes life a lot easier for its patients and their families. I could not imagine being treated at another place — of all of the cancer centers and children’s hospitals I’ve visited since my diagnosis, none compare to the Valerie center. The people, the support, the medical care, the ability to get treated close to home and the facilities all made cancer treatment all the more bearable and comfortable.”

Morison said she was overwhelmed with gratitude toward the Eicke brothers and all of the other owners and marketing directors who dedicated their time toward creating this week’s event.

“I only just started working at the Salad House this past new year,” she said, “a little over a year after my initial diagnosis. I haven’t been there long but I’ve been made to feel so supported and cared about.”

The Eicke brothers hope it will turn out to be a fun community event. 

“Some people have already walked in with some donations,” Jerry Eicke noted.

“It’s not really about us,” he said. “It’s about using the restaurant to do something good.”

If you go: 

On Thursday, May 30, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., all four locations of The Salad House in Westfield, Millburn, Morristown and Somerville will donate 100% of sales proceeds from dine in, pick up and to-go orders to the Valerie Fund. For locations and menus, click here.

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