If you ask Gerry and Lorey Bird, owners of The Exchange at Linwood, to sum up their vision for the food hall on the border of Linwood and Somers Point, they will say “to make The Exchange a place for the community to come together."
The couple activated a plan to increase special events, weekend live music offerings, the addition of a couple of new food vendors and the revamping of the bar menu and new mixologists. According to those involved, this has resulted in a higher amount of foot traffic to The Exchange. With that measurement, it seems the community likes their vision.
Another big part of their plan is providing support to school programs and area groups when asked. With Mainland Regional High School just a short bike path ride away, the vendors at The Exchange were seeking creative ways to support the high school and the students.
One of The Exchange’s food vendors, Tacocat’s Randi Talley, was approached and asked by a customer to consider supporting Mainland’s After Prom. The event is held annually and encourages attendees to the prom and even those seniors not attending to come to the high school to enjoy a night of games, food, music and fun. Year after year the committee dedicated to the After Prom continues to outdo the previous year.
Talley, who has spent decades in the corporate world, most recently in marketing, decided to bring a novel fundraising idea to Gerry and Lorey Bird and the food vendors at The Exchange.
The result will be this week’s All Weekend Long Fundraiser for Mainland Regional High School’s After Prom. The participating vendors will donate 10 percent of the entire weekend’s food sales to the After Prom. No coupons, no flyers or mention of the fundraiser necessary, according to organizers.
The participating vendors are Tacocat, Ernest and Sons and Lil Saigon. The fundraiser starts Friday, March 1, and continues through the close of business Sunday, March 3.