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Local Restaurant to Hold Fundraiser for Recovering Toddler

Splash will offer a three-course meal buffet open to the public on May 3.

On Wednesday, March 30, in his Long Valley home and was flown to Morristown Memorial Hospital to undergo emergency brain surgery.

As Gumersell laid in a medically-induced coma and the uncertainty surrounding his recovery filled his family’s minds, there was nothing anyone could do but wait.

Long Valley, though, as a community, banded together and started to take action. Residents began donating funds to the family and businesses offered services to the Gumersell family’s home for free.

Gumersell continued to convalesce, coming out of the coma and beginning to eat and breathe on his own. And when the owners of Restaurant Village caught wind of the story, they didn’t want to sit idly by.

“We knew we wanted to do something when we found out,” said Andrea Maletta-Bussel, Media Relations Director for Restaurant Village. “As soon as I told Steve, we began thinking of our options.”

Steve Bussel, Andrea’s husband and owner of Restaurant Village, said “We could’ve just written a check to help out, but we wanted to do something for the family and the community. Whether you’re two or 26, these tragedies can happen at any time; your heart just bleeds for the family.”

So the couple, who’ve been running the group of Long Valley restaurants since July of 2009, decided to open on Tuesday, May 3 and invite the community in for a buffet. The charge for the buffet is $20 per adult and $10 per child, with all proceeds going to the Gumersell family. The event will go on from 5 to 9 p.m. to allow for guests to come in and out.

The restaurant will not recoup any money from the event, except for any alcohol bought, and will provide attendees with a three-course meal. And to honor Jack Gumersell’s third birthday, which was May 1, the Bussel’s had The Gourmet Touch Bakery in Liberty Corner create a cake for the occasion.

Maletta-Bussel is asking that if anyone is planning to attend, please email her at andrea.restaurantvillage@gmail.com with the time you plan on arriving and how many guests will be in your party.

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