Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fund-Raiser for Charity Marks Sliders Opening

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fund-Raiser for Charity Marks Sliders Opening

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

A new Sliders Cafe is coming to the former Mandarin home of Bono's Pit Bar-B-Que at 10131 San Jose Blvd.

In the process, it will raise money for a charity at a grand opening party Tuesday night, and feed clients and staff from other charities in the days beforehand.

Michael Thomas operated the original Sliders in Neptune Beach from 1986 to 1994, and another on Baymeadows Road between 1990 and 1994. This time, he and owner Chuck Turner open the newest version Tuesday with a benefit for Dreams Come True, a Southside non-profit agency that helps children with terminal illnesses live their fondest dreams.

Guests at the special Tuesday night dinner will pay $20 in advance or $25 at the door to sample menu items at the 155-seat eatery the day before it opens to the public, Thomas said. And as part of his 50-member staff's training, some clients and staff from Dreams Come True and the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless will get a free dinner Sunday, while the same will be held for staff and clients from the Hubbard House and Clara White Mission on Monday.

"We are giving a portion of the proceeds from Tuesday to Dreams Come True. We are doing it to show that Sliders is part of the community and we want to give back to that," he said. "[Sunday and Monday], they will be here to enjoy the dining experience while our staff is here to perfect our service."

Dreams Come True Associate Director Suzanne Crittenden said the agency is thrilled that Sliders selected it as the recipient of an estimated $5,000 in proceeds.

"We were ecstatic. Everybody loved Sliders and is familiar with the one at the beach, so when they came to us, we said, 'Let's go,' " she said. "It is a great way to get the word out about Dreams Come True."

Reservations for the Dreams Come True fund-raiser can be made by calling the non-profit agency at 296-3030. …

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