They’ve been serving up some heaping helpings of kindness, generosity, and respect for veterans at Umberto’s Pizzeria and Restaurant in Fair Haven.
For the past six months, owners Maryrose and Michele Fabbri and their staff have been providing free lunches to veterans who visit the longtime River Road pizzeria. The Fabbris were presented with a plaque thanking them for their “Generous and Patriotic Support of America’s Veterans” and honored by members of American Legion Post 168 in Red Bank on March 29. The plaque was presented by John Horl, Commander of Post 168.
“Once our friends at Umberto’s found out that veterans were being healed in the Navesink River area, they were compelled to offer their support,” said Mark Otto, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Post 168 member who serves as Executive Director of the United War Veterans Council. “So for the past six months they’ve been donating free lunch to these veterans whenever they’re in town. In their words, ‘It’s the least we can do for these veterans that have sacrificed so much for our country.’“Umberto’s goes above and beyond to make the veterans feel appreciated. The staff greets them when they arrive, and everyone goes out of their way to spend time speaking with them while they serve their delicious food. Hugs for everyone and a ‘thank you for your service’ is the way they say goodbye. Followed by ‘we look forward to seeing you next time!’ As much as therapy plays a part in healing veterans, I believe that genuine acts of kindness and giving them a sense of community reestablishes their faith in humanity and shows them that people care.”
Joe Perrotto, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Post 168 Adjutant, stressed the importance of honoring the Fabbris and all of the staff of Umbertos.
“I want to emphasize the fact that Umberto’s did not expect or seek out this recognition,” said Perrotto. “They were doing this for the veterans out of the kindness of their hearts. They are true patriots that make veterans like myself proud to be members of this community. Red Bank American Legion Post 168 salutes the whole staff at Umberto’s — Maryrose Fabbri, Michele Fabbri, Anthony Fabbri, Tony Fabbri, Lucia Fabbri, Joe Katzer, Sue Coy, and Regina Heitmueller — for being patriots and model citizens.”
Umberto’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, located at 583 River Road in Fair Haven, has been owned by members of the Fabbri family since it opened in 1984.