NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - When faced with adversity, the New Providence community does the right thing -- over and over again. The latest example of this was the community's response to the recent flurry of customers' cars being towed from the vacant lot behind Prestige Diner.
When word got out that Prestige Diner owner Jimmy Vardas paid the towing company out of his own pocket to have his customers' cars released, Rupa Kale set up a GoFundMe to help offset his costs.
"I learned Jimmy paid out of his pocket for towing charges for his customers. Who does that? Jimmy Vardas," said Kale. "I was so touched when so many people donated, but also just the love and support (donors showed) for this family because they do so much good in our community."
"The GoFundMe ended up raising $745," said Kale. "Of course, when I contacted Jimmy, he wanted nothing to do with it. He asked that I donate it to the New Providence Community Service Association (CSA). We are so lucky to have this family in this town."
Prestige Diner has been a loyal sponsor and contributor to the CSA, which helps those in need in New Providence. CSA President Tom Montrone said, "I have never seen such a selfless and concerned business. We are lucky to have such a wonderful community partner that is also a great diner."
"Out of this unfortunate and unnecessary issue, something positive had to come out," said Vardas. He said he appreciates the community's outpouring of support on social media and the "amazing gesture of the New Providence Presbyterian Church to allow our customer to park in the church's lot. This gesture and the money raised in the GoFundMe page, were indicative of what a great community our town is. To all and each individually, thank you. Passing these funds to the CSA is the least we can do to express our gratitude and continue building on the goodwill New Providence is founded upon,” said Vardas.