SOMERVILLE, NJ - Robert Petix, Jr., owner of Savor restaurant on Main Street, knew as soon as he heard the devastating news that he wanted to do something to help the family of Summit police officer Matthew Tarentino, a resident of Somerville killed in a three-car accident on Route 78 in Bernards Township May 30.
“It came to mind right away,” Petix said.
He called Jean Kline, principal of Immaculata High School to share his idea; Kline gave her approval.
Through June 30th, Savor will donate 20 percent of each customer’s lunch or dinner check to the young family of the 29-year-old Tarentino, who attended and graduated Immaculate Conception School and Immaculata High School.
The vouchers can be downloaded from the Immaculata High School Facebook page. The link is https://www.facebook.com/immaculatahighschoolnj/
Petix and his sister both graduated from Immaculata; his sister was a classmate of Tarentino, graduating in 2006.
“I was pretty shook up when I heard about it,” Petix said. “I can relate. I have a son and a stepson; it’s heartbreaking to say the least.”
Tarentino and his widow Vickie have two sons, Robbie, 3 and Ray 2. The couple is expecting their third child in August. The couple met when attending Immaculata; she graduated one year ahead of him, in 2005. The couple was married in 2012. She also works at Immaculata High School as its Marketing Director. Her mother is a music teacher at the school.
Thousands of mourners – his widow and the family who loved him; friends and neighbors, those he worked with and those he worked for, people he worshipped alongside, thousands of fellow police officers and total strangers touched by his tragic loss filled Immaculate Conception Church this past Sunday and Monday to pay their respects to Tarentino.
The funeral procession from the church on Mountain Avenue to Resurrection Cemetery in Piscataway on Monday included hundreds of police and other emergency vehicles, led by a formation of 80 police motorcycles.
The procession passed by the Tarentino residence on its way out of town.
The Summit PAL has also established an online fund to benefit the family. As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, it had raised $536,983 in donations. The link is https://www.youcaring.com/victoriatarentino-835682
Petix said Savor has been taking weekend reservations, with callers mentioning the voucher. Customers are also asked to mention the voucher to their server before ordering. Petix said the vouchers will help keep track of the donations to the family.
“We’ve done other fund raisers with local churches, for kids with cancer, medical needs, things like that, we do a lot with Holy Trinity in Bradley Gardens, my father is a parishioner there,” Petix said.
Petix opened Savor in August 2013; previously, he and his father, Robert Sr., owned and operated Scampi’s, a seafood restaurant also on Main Street.
Savor is an upscale restaurant, with sidewalk tables and private rooms that can seat as many as 75 people for bridal and baby showers, communions and confirmations, graduations, birthday parties, business meetings or retirement parties.
Savor specializes in Italian cuisine, with homemade pasta made from scratch. The restaurant also specializes in steaks and seafood.
Further information is available online at www.SavorNJRestaurant.com or by calling Savor at (908) 685-1975.