Carol Cesario recently had a dream come true: after 30 years of hoping to meet the New Jersey rocker, she not only got to see Jon Bon Jovi up close and personal, but chatted with him for an hour at his JBJ Soul Kitchen community restaurant in Toms River. The famed musician invited Carol, who has stage 4 lung cancer, and her family, to dinner, and went the extra mile to give her the memory of a lifetime.
In a touching Facebook post, Rosie wrote about how much this meant to her mom. “He invited us to his restaurant and surprised our mom today. Spending over a hour with all of us, letting her hear his new album, and giving her a signed guitar and book. It was a very emotional and amazing day for our whole family and we thank you all so so much…You have no idea what this meant to us. This is a day we will never forget.” Watch Carol’s reaction as Jon Bon Jovi sits down next to her in the video posted at NJ.com.
In another Facebook post, Rosie wrote, “Hanging out with freaking Jon Bon Jovi was absolutely freaking insane. Me and my sister finally freaking did it! Everyone sharing and some good friends definitely helped make it happen. Bon Jovi has always been moms, Shell Cesario, and my thing since I was like 4 years old and we finally did it for our mom. My heart is so happy today.”
Rosie has set up a Go Fund Me account to raise money to “make things a little easier” for Carol and her husband.
The first JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurant opened in Red Bank in 2011, with the Toms River location opening earlier this year. The menu has no prices; diners either offer a donation of $10 or more, or volunteer in various positions to offset the cost of their food. They have served over 50,000 meals, with over half of them earned by volunteers working in the restaurant to pay for them.