"We've done about eight to 10 wine tasting events a year," O'Donnell said. "We give a lot to benefit the local charities."
In the past, O'Donnell has aided the cause of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Edgewater Library, and the North Bergen Police Benevolent Association, who wanted to purchase more bulletproof vests.
Also helping out local causes is Sabor Latin Bistro, a restaurant on River Road in North Bergen.
"We've been here five years and any time there's a chance to give back to the community, we're all for it and happy to donate," said Fernando Del Bono, the general manager of Sabor. "We want to be able to show our appreciation to the people in our neighborhood."
So it made perfect sense that the two businesses joined forces last Sunday to hold a fundraising charity event to benefit the Palisades Medical Center Foundation. The hospital is just a stone's throw away from both businesses and has been the beneficiary of the businesses' generosity in the past.
"They both continually look to help Palisades Medical Center in any way imaginable," said Elisse Glennon, the executive director of the Palisades Medical Center Foundation. "We're forever grateful to them. Riverside Wine Merchants was one of the first small businesses to step out and help raise money for us. They pretty much set the bar. Sabor has always supported Palisades, being so gracious and good to us."
Last Sunday, more than 80 people attended a special wine and food tasting event that was held at Sabor to help support the Palisades Medical Center Foundation.
The patrons were treated to sample from an array of different wines, as well as some of Sabor's finest continental delights.
All of the proceeds from the event, which was estimated at close to $3,000, went to the Palisades Medical Center Foundation.
"It was a huge success," Glennon said. "It exceeded all expectations. I was really overwhelmed. I didn't expect that kind of turnout. It brought out people who didn't know much about Palisades and what we do and it got some people together who now live in the new developments on the waterfront. It was fun for them and fun for us, and we raised nearly $3,000. It was amazing."
Del Bono enjoyed opening his doors and welcoming the newcomers.
"It was great to see so many people gathering, having a good time, for a good cause," Del Bono said. "I certainly didn't expect a turnout that large. It was a great moment for our restaurant to welcome so many people."
O'Donnell said that he opened about 60 different bottles of wine during the course of the afternoon.
"Any time you give back, it always works out in the end," O'Donnell said. "We enjoy doing it for several reasons. The good cause is always a motivation, but it's a good way for people to get together. They're trying new wines, having some good food and having fun. It's good for the community and the perfect way to raise money. We like choosing charities that are in our general proximity and the hospital is a perfect recipient of our charity."
Both O'Donnell and Del Bono said that they were working together on another fundraiser for the hospital in the near future.
"We are looking into what other events we can do in the coming months," Del Bono said. "We have a good relationship with the hospital."
"If they are willing, we are hopeful to do something like it again," Glennon said. "It was really a great day."